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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Jungle Fever

Kelli Leclair, a sophomore communication major, fell victim to jungle juice when she was rushed to the hospital, to find out that her drink had been spiked.

Emergency rooms near college campuses are seeing more young people with blood alcohol contents of .30 or even .40, according to The Chicago Tribune.

A bottle or two of vodka, some gin and rum, two bottles of wine, some juice-based liquids, a few pubes, and some spit are all ingredients to creating the perfect batch of jungle juice.

Jungle juice is the number one college party drink, according to sofakingdrunk.com.

Alcohol abuse has long been an issue amongst college students. Almost 2,000 college students die each year from alcohol-related injuries, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

UB's Wellness Education Center encourages students to be more aware of the possible risks that may arise from drinking the popular party punch, which people tend to confuse for a harmless fruity tasting beverage.

Sharlynn Daun-Barnett, Alcohol Tobacco and other Drug Prevention Specialist at UB's Wellness Education Center, has heard countless horror stories, like Leclair's, about student experiences with jungle juice.

One of the most upsetting stories Daun-Barnett recalls happened several years ago when four UB students – who have since graduated – were hospitalized after all attending a party near South Campus.

"When the police busted the party and talked to the people that lived there they found jungle juice in a bathtub in their house and [the hosts] admitted to peeing and putting pubic hairs in the bathtub," Daun-Barnett said. "Jungle juice is not kept in cleanly places, we find it in tubs, sinks, storage totes and garbage cans…you don't really know what else is in there or how clean it is."

Many students are not aware of how strong the alcohol is, according to Daun-Barnett. Apart from not knowing what is actually in the cocktail, high amounts of sugar masks the alcohol, making it easier to consume more of what is generally a highly concentrated punch.

"If you haven't seen the person make it you don't know how strong it is," Daun-Barnett said. "You can't drink it like a beverage. You can't drink it and just socialize; it is not that kind of a drink. You have to think of it like a shot, it could be that strong."

It is possible to forget about the consequences of alcohol, however, when other students are wasted around you, according to Leclair.

"Going to fraternities is really fun, but be smart about drinking," Leclair said. "First of all it is no fun if you have a great night and don't remember it and second of all it is dangerous to be drinking a lot, no matter how plastered people around you are getting."

Fraternity member Franklin Ramirez, a senior American studies, finance, international business and Spanish major, believes students should only drink jungle juice when they are acquainted with the people mixing it.

"As a fraternity member I do drink jungle juice in my fraternity house because I know who makes it and how it is made. However, going to a random party and drinking jungle juice? I don't think so," Ramirez said. "I have heard many horror stories. For example, my freshman year, I [saw] people drink jungle juice out of black garbage bags as well as bathtubs, which I personally think is ridiculous and extremely dangerous. But hey, if you are willing to take that risk, you deal with the consequences."

UB's Wellness Education Services advises students to keep track of their drinks and key into how many standard drinks they are consuming. If the people throwing the party aren't drinking the jungle juice, there is probably a reason for that. Students are encouraged to make safer choices concerning alcohol consumption.

It is suggested that students bring their own beverages to parties or drink the beer out of the keg. Avoiding drinks that have been mixed by others is the smartest way to stay safe. However, if students choose to drink jungle juice they should keep their consumption at a minimum, according to Daun-Barnett.

"Beer is the best option at a party, cans are closed until you open them and it is hard for someone to tamper with kegs," Leclair said, "If you don't bring your own alcohol, or want more, try your hardest not to drink stuff other people made. You never know what the intentions of people are."

Email: features@ubspectrum.com


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