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Safe Drinking for College Students

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Published on Jun 12, 2010

Text:
If you are a college student then I am sure that you have had enough people lecturing you on the evils of alcohol to drive you to drink. I have no intention of doing that because there is nothing inherently evil about alcohol. There is nothing diseased or morally wrong about having a few beers now and then. For that matter there is nothing diseased or morally wrong about getting totally hammered now and then so long as you don't harm yourself or anyone else in the process. Abstaining from alcohol, drinking in moderation, or engaging in recreational intoxication are all matters of personal choice--no one else has any right to dictate what you do or do not put into your own body.

Of course this also means that you do not have to get coerced by others to get hammered if you do not want to. To drink or not to drink--that is your own free choice. Even if you do choose to get hammered once in a while you don't have to let it interfere with your school or your life if you don't want it to.

If you are a neophyte drinker who has little or no experience drinking alcohol then we very strongly urge you to take it slow and easy until you know what you are doing. Every year in the United States over 300 people die of alcohol poisoning. At least ten times this many have their lives saved by getting their stomachs pumped at the emergency room. A Blood Alcohol Content of 0.3 is fatal for the average human. Some people are more sensitive to alcohol than others and could potentially die at a Blood Alcohol level lower than 0.3. The less you weigh, the drunker you get. Women also get drunker than men on the same amount of alcohol because of a difference in enzyme distribution. In other words--the amount of alcohol that is safe for a large man might kill a small woman. If you don't know what your tolerance to alcohol is, then take it slow and easy.

Remember that you can put alcohol into your stomach far faster than it hits your brain. That is why, if you drink too fast you will feel the alcohol hit you suddenly all at once, resulting in blacking out, passing out, vomiting, or alcohol poisoning. Some jerk off might think that it is funny to see you bouncing off the walls, throwing up, and passing out--but is that really your idea of a good time?

The whole purpose of drinking games is to make you drink fast. If you don't want to play drinking games then no one has the right to force you to. If you do choose to play drinking games, then use caution--the games that use beer are generally safer than the ones with shots. When you have had enough of the game be prepared to quit.

Drinking shots can lead to a very rapid consumption of alcohol--so can beer bongs or beer chugging contests. We reiterate: drinking too fast can lead to blackouts, vomiting, passing out, and in the worst case scenario--to alcohol poisoning. Do you really want to end the party in the emergency room getting your stomach pumped?

If you are taking medications be sure to be extra careful with alcohol. Nearly 3,000 people in the United States die every year from mixing the wrong drug with alcohol.

Whether you choose to drink moderately or to get hammered when you party--here are some tips to help you keep it safe:

• Eat well before you drink--this helps to slow the entry of alcohol into the bloodstream.

• Drink plenty of water before you drink any alcohol--you will drink slower if you are not thirsty.

• Party with a friend--if one of you gets too drunk then the other can help you stay safe.

• Be aware that hard liquor or drinking games can get you drunk real fast--either avoid them use caution.

• Carry condoms--you won't feel like going out to buy one if you are wasted.

• Plan and schedule your drinking--taking a final exam with a raging hangover is a real bad idea--missing it because you are passed out drunk is even worse.

• Don't let anyone force you to drink more than you want to--it is your body--you choose how much or how little alcohol you want to put into it.

• ALWAYS plan your transportation--never drive to a party or a bar--walk, use public transportation, or have a designated driver that you can trust to stay sober. Don't let "the least drunk person" drive.

One more thing. These days most college students are under the drinking age, so what about underage drinking? We already know that a hell of a lot of you are going to do it anyway, and that the more people preach against underage drinking, the more it provokes people to do it. That is why we say that if you are going to drink anyway in spite of the fact that you are underage, it is important that you learn how to practice good harm reduction so that you don't maim or kill yourself or someone else in the process.

For more information about safe drinking please visit collegedrinking.org online. That's collegedrinking.org.

Thank you.

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