UNL featured in NET program Feb. 18


Hammered. Wasted. Plastered. Drunk.

It's how binge drinkers end up after a night of partying. "You'd just be amazed at what crosses my desk on Monday morning after a weekend of binge drinking in Lincoln, Nebraska," said Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady.

The NET News production "Binge" looks at young adults drinking too much, too fast. Hear from law enforcement, university officials and bar owners trying to change lives before it's too late. "Binge" airs at 7 and 10 p.m., Feb. 18 on NET1 and NET-HD. "Binge" is
followed at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. CT by the NET News production "Your Kids are Drinking," a program focusing on the problems associated with underage drinking.

Binge drinking is consuming alcoholic beverages in a short time period, with the intention of becoming drunk. When young adults binge drink, it often results in fights, unwanted sex and automobile accidents. NET News traveled to a roadside memorial near Auburn, Neb., that marks the spot where 15-year-old Austin Glather died in a drunk-driving accident. All four teenagers in the car had been drinking. During the next few years, the group learned the pain of losing a friend wasn't enough to change the binge drinking behaviors they had developed.

"If anything I drank more. And I think a lot of the kids on that roadside drank more after the accident," said Nick Snyder of Auburn.

Snyder himself was injured in another drunk driving accident when he ran his truck off the road and into a stand of trees at more than 90 miles per hour. He was thrown halfway through the windshield and then ejected out the back window. Snyder was so drunk at the time that he doesn't remember being the driver of the truck.

A Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services survey reports that two-thirds of 19 to 25-year-olds in the state report drinking alcohol and two out of three of those who drank alcohol admitted to binge drinking. The rate between males and female binge drinkers was nearly identical, and binge drinking rates are higher in urban areas as compared to rural Nebraska. Additionally, more than 60 percent of 21 and 22 year old full-time college students reported binge drinking.

In college towns, binge drinking at large parties and complaints about loud noise, littering and public urination keep law enforcement officers busy.

"Binge" includes UNL officials discussing their progress toward curbing binge drinking at a campus that 10 years
ago was identified as having a rate higher than the national average, through the NU Directions program. The show also includes interviews with bar owners and law enforcement officers about cooperative efforts that have changed the approach to policing the downtown bar scene in Lincoln. The program also travels to Kearney to learn more about "Oksoberfest," a seasonal alcohol-free activity for University of Nebraska at Kearney students.

Additional video and other information about high risk drinking is available on the program's website at http://www.netnebraska.org/binge.

"Binge" and "Your Kids are Drinking" repeat on NET2 at 7 and 7:30 p.m., Feb. 19; 10 and 10:30 p.m., Feb. 19; and 3 and 3:30 p.m., Feb. 25. "Binge" also airs at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 26 on NET2.

"Binge" was funded in part by the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

- Kim Rogers, NET

More details at: http://go.unl.edu/binge