Despite laws in every state that make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or possess alcohol, young people report that alcohol is easy to obtain and that many high school and college students drink with one goal – to get drunk, according to Alcohol and Drug Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Reports by the Core Institute indicate that drinking has been used as an excuse to rebel or to relieve boredom.
Some people just outright cannot open up socially without having a drink. Without alcohol their social life is non-existent.
“There’s nothing wrong with social drinking,” said Jhanel Davis, 19, a sophomore elementary education student from Fort Lauderdale. “When me and my friends have girls night out, we take a sip on something. It’s OK.”
According to surveys from the Core Institute, 44 percent of college students binge drink (drinking four or more drinks at the same time or in a row).
About 3 percent of the college population is expected to die of alcohol-related causes. That works out to be an average of 50 students a year.
As a result of drinking students say that they often miss class, falling behind due to “sleeping it off.” Drinking also increases the possibility of experiencing violence and unwanted sexual encounters.
Derek Cason, 19, a freshman engineering student from Gainesville said, “Drinking is not safe, people don’t realize that it comes back to haunt them in the end, it eventually depletes their liver . . . you can’t even control your actions when you drink so why would you binge-drink?”
“Its stupid,” said Shayla Graves-Wilson, 21, a senior business student from Fort Lauderdale. “You know that it is not good for you, if you do it then you are the dumb one.”
Reports by the Core Institute report that members of Greek organizations are more likely to drink, and athletes fall in this group of heavy drinkers as well.
According to the Core Institute, students at HBCUs are less likely to binge drink than students at a predominantly white college or university.
“I don’t know one black person dumb enough to drink like that,” Graves-Wilson said.
Drinking is harmful because of ethanol, a special kind of alcohol that is in just about every alcoholic beverage.
According to http://www.frankmckinnon.com/ethanol.htm, ethanol acts to depress the brain causing a relaxation that contributes to playful behavior and excessive laughter. It also makes socialization easier by producing chatty talking.
Too much ethanol interrupts brain functions causing the person to be temporarily demented with bad judgment and no form of coordination.
Ethanol also interferes with a persons’ memory, making it extremely difficult for the hippocampus, the part of the brain dealing with memory, to process new information. This is why people often cannot remember what happened during the time they were drinking the next day.
The next time you attend a party that says “double vision” on the flyer, remember that alcohol is a stimulant in small amounts, a depressant in large amounts, and a deadly toxin in even larger amounts. Know your alcohol limit and don’t over do it.
Don’t become one the 50 students that die each year from alcohol-related causes.
Contact Tiffany Facey-Lim at firstname.lastname@example.org