As students at Northern Illinois University walk around the campus this school year they'll notice several posters all aimed at preventing alcohol abuse. The marketing campaign, which began several years ago, is credited with a 34 to 35 percent reduction in heavy alcohol use among students.
Amy Franklin from the University’s Health Services Department says, "There was a study done at Northern that demonstrated there was a big difference between actual student consumption and perceived. Students often over perceived and felt pressure to drink."
Telling students the actual number of drinks their peers had a week reduced drinking on campus, and while binge drinking, which is considered having four to five drinks in about two hours, may not be a big problem, university police say they’re still concerned.
"We do have on occasion where we do have to take a student to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, but it’s not a frequent event," says University Police Detective Sgt. Todd Henert.
But students say you can see the effects of alcohol every weekend.
Senior Booter West says, "Thursday through Saturday you're going to see at least a half a dozen people stumbling around or passed out."
Students at Northern Illinois University are encouraged to pace drinks to one or less per hour, keep track of how much they consume, determine in advance how much they'll drink and avoid drinking games.