|Drinking responsibly takes effort|
|Written by Melanie Lowe, Reporter|
|Thursday, 28 February 2013 15:00|
Whether it’s a house party on campus or a popular bar in downtown Bloomington, the consumption of alcohol is a common college activity.
In an effort to stay healthy and safe, it’s important to understand the risks of consuming alcohol in a social setting.
Moderation is key. Students who are at the legal age to consume alcohol can do so responsibly by knowing their limits.
According to ISU’s Health Promotion and Wellness, drinking beyond one’s limit can result in blackouts, injuries, sexual assault, vandalism and alcohol poisoning.
In order to consume a safe amount, students should drink at a moderate pace and pay close attention to what their body is telling them.
“Usually when you start to drink too much, your body has protective mechanisms that let you know you need to stop before your blood alcohol level gets to a dangerous level,” James Almeda, Health Promotion and Wellness coordinator, said.
Popular drinking methods, such as shots and beer bongs, are especially dangerous because they slow down the part of the brain that controls body functions.
Taking shots and playing beer pong may be entertaining, but it’s important to remember that alcohol has various side effects.
“Alcohol is a dangerous drug, actually one of the most addictive drugs. The easy access that college campuses often provide make it especially dangerous,” Mark Temple, associate professor of health education, said.
Paying attention to body signs is always a good idea, but sometimes,
students may not realize what the alcohol is doing to their brain.
As their blood alcohol level rises, students who have a high alcohol
tolerance may not notice that they are becoming physically impaired.
“You may look and feel fine, but if you decided to drive a car, you
definitely aren’t fine. A high tolerance can’t overcome all the
impairment that is there,” Almeda said.
In fact, high tolerance to alcohol isn’t always a good thing. It may
imply that your body is accustomed to the drug, leaving you unable to
read body signs.
“Being able to drink more than those around you is not something to
be proud of. Rather, it is a sign that you have developed a tolerance to
alcohol,” Temple said.
The one thing more dangerous than consuming a large amount of alcohol is drinking on an empty stomach.
Unfortunately, this is a popular trend for people who want to drink, but don’t want the extra calories.
In fact, people are starving themselves throughout the day so that they can enjoy a few cocktails at night.
While this may seem like a smart idea, malnutrition combined with
substance abuse can generate severe, negative consequences that will
last a lifetime.
“Drinking on an empty stomach ensures you will get drunk quicker.
Some may view this as a positive thing. I suggest this is a sign that
one already has a problem with alcohol,” Temple said.
To drink responsibly, Health Promotion and Wellness affirms that students should drink on a full stomach, consume no more than one alcoholic beverage an hour and drink no more than four drinks on occasion.