The dangers of binge drinking and South Campus partying
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 00:10
It is virtually a given that part of the thrill some students derive from the college partying scene is a sense of danger. But too often the dangerous practices that accompany partying manifest into disaster. And when people are impacted directly by stark consequences, the danger no longer seems like a thrill; it becomes a regrettable remembrance of a youthful recreation gone awry.
With this still being a new academic year and there being plenty of new students at the school, it is essential to review what it means to go out around UB and what is necessary for safety.
Many students at UB like to drink and party. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is not enough awareness, however, of the potential ramifications of all that could go wrong from binge drinking in general and going out around South Campus specifically.
Binge drinking is widespread amongst universities in America. Forty percent of U.S. college students have engaged in binge drinking in the past two weeks, according to the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse.
This is dangerous. Binge drinking consists of consuming five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more in a row for women, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Students do this all the time – with the goal of drinking to get drunk. It is also important to note that four or five drinks in a row is a modest night out for some of our peers.
People are more susceptible to injury when they reach a certain level of intoxication. The effects of drinking include: dizziness, loss of balance, vomiting, impaired judgment and alcohol poisoning, which can be deadly.
Excessive drinking can cause behavioral problems, which make people prone to violence and more willing to engage in sexual activity with partners they otherwise would have preferred to stay clear of. College students should certainly be aware that promiscuous conduct while being inebriated makes one more likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection. And you don’t want one of those.
Not to mention you also subject yourself to the risk of an unintended pregnancy.
But one of the biggest risks is dying of alcohol poisoning. When a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short span of time, the body is not equipped to process it quickly enough.
This results in a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level. We all know a BAC of .08 percent is the legal limit for driving, but high consumption levels of alcohol can cause you more than just legal issues. Having an extremely high BAC can cause your central nervous system to weaken – you can lose consciousness, have respiratory failure and die.
And every year, people die because they throw up while they are passed out and choke on their own vomit.
Don’t be that person, and don’t go out with someone who will let you be that person. It’s important to surround yourself with friends who care about your welfare and will remind you of your limitations when it’s in your best interest.
The ones who really care about you will speak up before you self-destruct.
The message that needs to be emphasized to some students is that you have to be careful around South Campus – especially at night. Being in the Heights while intoxicated after binge drinking makes you even more susceptible to being a victim of crime. You become exactly who the perpetrators are looking for – a drunk and oblivious college kid.
We cannot allow a pervasive state of oblivion to establish itself at this university. Students need to be aware that the dangers of drinking are a reality.
Getting drunk and having a good time is one thing. But when you drink to the point of extreme excess and do so in a high-crime area, trouble is practically imminent. Your life may be at stake; your friends’ lives may be at stake.
You are ultimately responsible for your choices, and as the years pass, you will ultimately be the one to judge them.
As Charlotte Bronte once wrote: “In history as in human life, regret does not bring back a lost moment and a thousand years will not recover something lost in a single hour.”
So when you get ready for your next night out, remember to think whether you would you rather be cautious now or regretful later.