Binge Drinking- Is It Worth It?
More than 4,300 young people under 21 die each year from alcohol.
Florida State University recently held a vigil for Andrew Coffey, who died after attending a party earlier in November. Even though there were plenty of other people at the party, Andrew was found unresponsive and it was too late to save him.
Maxwell Gruver, a student at Louisiana State University, died at the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester. Maxwell went to a party to kick off the new school year and drank so much while being hazed that he never woke up.
- More than 4,300 young people under 21 die each year from alcohol.
- 7.7 million young people ages 12-20 reported drinking more than “a few sips” in the past month.
- More than 90% of the alcohol they consume is by binge drinking.
How many drinks is too many?
There is no way to know exactly how much you can drink before it becomes dangerous. A lot of things factor in, such as how much food is in your system, your weight, your tolerance, and how quickly you are drinking. For the average person, the liver can only process one drink per hour, so if you are binge drinking heavily and quickly, things can get out of hand before you realize it. Once you become even a little inebriated, your decision making is impaired and you may not be equipped to know when you’ve passed the limit of what is safe for your body!
One of the telltale signs of alcohol poisoning is vomiting, but this may not happen until after you pass out. Since alcohol poisoning can cause your gag reflex to stop working, this means you are at risk of choking on your own vomit in your sleep. Alcohol poisoning can also cause your breathing and heart rate to slow or even stop altogether, cause your body temperature to lower so much that you experience hypothermia, and dehydrate your body enough to cause brain damage.
Protect Your Brain
Did you know that your brain continues to develop into your 20s? Alcohol can affect brain structure and function. Even if you don’t become alcohol dependent, binge drinking can cause irreversible cognitive damage.
Look Out for Each Other, and Be Responsible for Yourself!
Always go to parties with friends you can count on. Make a plan to keep an eye on each other throughout the night, a pact that nobody gets left unattended, and a plan to have a designated driver or an Uber to get you safely home.
If everyone in your group is drinking, though, be aware that you may not be able to count on them to look after you completely. The safest course of action is to make sure you are being responsible for yourself. The best way to do that is to abstain from drinking at all, but if you do drink, pace yourself and drink responsibly.
Do your research before pledging! Find out if the fraternity or sorority at the school you are looking into has had issues with hazing and binge drinking in recent years. If a fraternity or sorority has a reputation for pushing pledges beyond safe limits, consider that a red flag.
Because of recent alcohol-related deaths, colleges are cracking down on hazing in an attempt to keep their students safe, so don’t be afraid to tell someone if things are going too far. If something is making you uncomfortable, you do not have to do it. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and those pledges next to you.