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Be Smart Drink Responsibly – The Consequences Are Deadly

The consequences of alcohol misuse are profound. Most people enjoy alcohol safely. For some people, alcohol is OK in moderation. The right approach is always to drink responsibly.

The time to pause and ponder about your plans to consume alcohol is before you start. Drinking can get out of control once everybody is drinking and having a good time. For some, it can be difficult to stop or control the amount they drink after they have had a few brews.

They are being intelligent means being aware of what is going on in the present.

Here are ten suggestions to keep in mind for drinking safely and responsibly. They could save your life or someone else’s.

  • Use the buddy system. There’s “safety in numbers.”

Make sure someone is the designated driver. Drinking impairs judgment. Don’t drive after drinking or get in a car with someone who has been drinking.

  • Know your limits
  • Everyone has a different tolerance for alcohol
  • Never on an empty stomach; the more open it is, the faster alcohol has its effect
  • Avoid alcohol if you’re taking prescription medications

Most prescription medications have adverse effects when combined with alcohol.

Obey The Law

  • Don’t drink if you’re underage, and follow all other applicable laws
  • Drink water, alcohol dehydrates and leaches vitamins from the body
  • Pace yourself
  • It takes time for alcohol to be absorbed, so its effects take time
  • Know what’s in the drink
  • If you are experimenting with a new cocktail, take it easy
  • Stop drinking sooner than later
  • If you start to feel uncomfortable, it’s the right time to stop

Harm Reduction

Here are some actions which might help prevent or reduce the risks involved with drinking or drug use.

  • Please don’t leave a drink unattended; it only takes a split second to spike a drink with date rape or other substance.
  • Setting boundaries is a healthy thing to do; they work.
  • Tell a friend where you’ll be, especially at night.
  • Offer to be the designated driver.
  • Seek peers who respect your decision to drink minimally.
  • Bring your soda, tea, or a “mocktail” to a party.
  • Pass on “beer pong” or “chugging” games.
  • Join groups; getting involved is a healthy alternative to “partying.”

Sobering Stats

Nearly 50% of all full-time students, about 4 million young adults, binge drink or abuse drugs regularly. Almost 30 percent of that population meets the criteria for substance use disorders. Moreover, research has shown that illicit drug abuse worsens among college students even aside from alcohol use.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reports some troubling statistics on our college campuses:

350 % increase in prescription drug abuse (such as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin)

  • Daily marijuana use has doubled
  • 50% increase in the use of cocaine and heroin
  • 93 % rise in Adderall and Ritalin misuse and abuse
  • Drugs like Xanax and Valium have also gained popularity

Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse issues are just a few of the unexpected challenges college students find themselves battling.

Experts agree that there are several factors at play. For example, on different websites, colleges often list themselves as “best party schools,” which proliferates a culture of alcohol and drug use among college-age kids. Critics even go so far as to accuse college presidents, deans, and other staff of tolerating these abuses and are partially to blame for the poor academic results, mental illness, and violence that so often ensues.

Most students admit that “partying,” using drugs and alcohol, is a way to blow off steam and get a break from the stress of classwork. However, there is pressure to fit in. Those who do not drink or use drugs are left behind. Studies have shown that female students deal with intense pressure to have sex and often use alcohol as a means of easing their inhibitions, either consciously or subconsciously, in these types of social settings.

Across the country, many people consider college to be a rite of passage. It is the first time that some young adults get to live a life free from their parent’s watchful eye and, in essence, take control of their destinies. The experience is without question an adventure and exercise in independence. Yet, while some thrive under these circumstances, others succumb to the incredible pressures their new environment presents and are sometimes unsure how to ask for help.

Though some higher education institutions have programs to help troubled students, campus services are available to students who need help with drug and alcohol abuse. Friends, family, and loved ones must take the time to check in with the college students in their lives regularly and make sure that they are not suffering from dependency issues. We need to take more significant steps to promote addiction awareness and provide a path to treatment for those that need it the most.