It Reduces Heavy Drinking
Every six months, students at the University of Rhode Island are invited to a mock tavern on campus equipped with a bar, glassware, alcohol beverages, and even neon liquor ads. Some students are served alcohol while others are served a non-alcohol beverage that appears to contain alcohol.
The students drink their beverages, socialize, play a game and then are requested to participate in a survey: they are asked if they think they have been drinking alcohol and why they think so. Students typically think they have been consuming alcohol and report various signs of intoxication.
They are surprised upon learning that they have been drinking "mocktails" without any alcohol. At this point they realize that they clearly don't need alcohol in order to loosen up socially and have a great time.
Since implementing the exercise in 1995, the university has experienced a 15% drop in heavy drinking.
- Norris, M. Deadly Drinks: Study - College Drinking Responsible for Killing 1,400 Students a Year. abcNews.com (April 9, 2002).
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