College and Alcohol Don’t Necessarily Go Hand in Hand

November 20, 2011 Category: College Tips

The full college experience can be a fun and exciting time, years that will be remembered for a very long time.  During your college years you will have to make many choices some easy and others not so much.  Your peers are going to be a big influence but ultimately all choices are yours.  Away from home and parents many college students take up an unfortunate college pastime which is drinking alcohol.

Alcohol in itself with moderation may not be a subject worth mentioning, but what about binge drinking.  Many college students tend to be attracted by the party scene of their school and disappointingly this is where binge drinking initiates and can bring on many ill-fated issues.

What is Binge Drinking

By definition binge drinking is drinking alcohol to where your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at .08 or above.  For a typical adult this corresponds to drinking 5 or more drinks for a male and 4 or more for a female in about 2 hours.

Extent of College Binge Drinking

In studies done, it was found that about 44% of students attending 4-year colleges drink alcohol at the binge level or greater.  One in four drinks alcohol ten or more times a month with a 29% of them reporting being intoxicated three or more times per month.  College drinkers have stated that an important reason for them to drink is to actually get drunk.

The Reality of Binge Drinking

Whether you admit it or not, binge drinking negatively affects academic performance, social relationships and most importantly, your health.  Studies by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and Administration (SAMHSA) show that frequent binge drinkers are 21 times more likely to miss classes, fall behind in their school work, have unprotected sex or even drive under the influence.  All can have disastrous effects.

In a study chartered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) it was estimated that 1,700 college students die each year from alcohol related, unintentional injuries, most of which involve a motor vehicle crash.

Commonly, someone who drank excessive alcohol tends to vomit since alcohol is an irritant to the stomach. This can cause the danger of choking on vomit, which could cause death by asphyxiation in a person who is not conscious because of intoxication.

Alcohol poisoning is the poisoning of the respiratory center in the brain.  Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing and the gag reflex (which prevents choking). A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions.

These are very real risks that are not limited to those who have a history of problematic drinking.  More and more we hear about college students getting into trouble because of alcohol.

Stop and think before you decide to take that first drink.  No, your parents are not there nor will your professors be after you to tell you not to do something, but you are in college, smart enough to educate yourself on the dangers of alcohol.

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