Do drugs, alcohol lead to erratic behavior?

Students concerned about the effects of drugs and alcohol on campus will gather to present a Rattler Summit: How High is Too High?

The summit will discuss the use and abuse of alcohol, marijuana and the date rape drug.

There will also be a Red Bull representative present to discuss the side effects of mixing alcohol with stimulants such as Red Bull, an energy drink.

Most students don’t realize the dangers of mixing alcohol; a depressant, with drugs; a stimulant.

“You can’t mix two things that have alternate effects. It’s like mixing oil with water,” said Tanika Williams, student branch manager for Red Bull.

Lots of students drink chasers, an alcoholic beverage that has juice or soda added to it.

The result: “It makes your body excrete waste much more faster than normal,” said Williams.

This is in addition to the common side effects of nausea and vomiting.

Many students at FAMU think drug and alcohol abuse on campus is a problem.

A Core Institute Survey for 2000 found that nearly one-third of the students surveyed reported missing class due to alcohol or other drug use.

The use of drugs or alcohol can lead to missed classes or poor performance on tests and projects.

“Too many brothers come out here, post up and smoke all day,” said Osvenly Hernandez, 20, a sophomore computer engineering student from Miami.

Some students believe their peers should be more responsible.

“I don’t think it’s a problem. People do drugs everywhere; it’s not elevated at FAMU,” said Ambish Patel, 20, a junior pharmacy student from Fort Pierce.

The survey also found that 46.5 percent of students surveyed engaged in binge drinking at least once in the past two weeks. Binge drinking is five or more drinks in one sitting.

Although the legal drinking age is 21, the survey found that 82.2 percent of students surveyed under 21 reported using alcohol the previous year.

With so many problems to talk about, the summit will try to present solutions.

Step one is informing the students of the risks involved in using drugs and alcohol.

“Right now there’s a lot of drug abuse going on. It’s important for us to know what the side effects are in the long run,” said Sherea Harris, 21, broadcast journalism student from Milton who is helping put the event together.

The summit is today in Perry Paige Auditorium at 7 p.m.