|Binge drinking common on college campuses|
|Written by Dana Jordan, Daily Vidette staff writer|
|Sunday, 22 January 2012 14:21|
In the past academic year, 61.3 percent of ISU students reported binge drinking, according to the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey in 2011.
According to Jean Swearingen, medical director of Student Health Services, the most common problems associated with binge drinking include injuries, unplanned sexual encounters, assaults and dehydration from vomiting.
In the 2011 Core Alcohol and Drug Survey, 43 percent of ISU students got into a fight or argument as a result of binge drinking, 40 percent missed a class, 29 percent performed poorly on an exam or project, 45 percent did something they later regretted and 38 percent have been criticized by somebody they know.
“Depending on how much and how often a person drinks, it can take up to a month for full cognitive, critical thinking skills to return,” Kerri Calvert, coordinator for Health Promotion and Wellness, said.
“Just because a hangover is done, doesn’t mean the brain is back to normal,” she added.
Calvert explained binge drinking could lead to serious health issues, including blackouts, which a reported 49 percent of ISU students said they had, including memory loss and alcohol poisoning. Death due to alcohol poisoning is the most serious risk taken as a result of binge drinking. Blackouts are dangerous as well because one has no way of knowing what they are doing, according to Calvert.
“Blackouts are the result of either a large amount of alcohol consumed in a short period of time, or someone with a very high tolerance,” Calvert said. “Both of these are risky behaviors that could lead to alcohol poisoning or worse.”
Ongoing instances of binge drinking and blackouts may be a sign of a more serious problem of alcohol use.
Swearingen explained repeated episodes of binge drinking can lead to liver damage, including cirrhosis and liver failure.
It can also lead to damage to the pancreas and other organs, such as the heart and kidneys.
According to Calvert, there are several signs that someone may have a problem with alcohol, including everything a person says involve alcohol, they rearrange their daily schedule to fit around partying and recovery time, they attend work or class hungover or their alcohol use is affecting personal relationships with a boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other.
Student Health Services are available to evaluate and refer students who have been identified as having alcohol-related problems. SHS provides information to inform students about appropriate alcohol use.
For more information about Student Health Services, visit shs.illinoisstate.edu or call (309) 438-8655.