Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

Binge drinking is a major issue that affects colleges across the nation. There are numerous effects on the body that can become deadly when the consumption of alcohol reaches dangerous levels.To many people, binge drinking is considered to be excessive alcohol intake over a span of several days. However, researchers have suggested that five drinks per night falls under this criteria. Although most physicians find that the five-drink consumption is too generalized, the amount of alcohol consumed can affect people differently depending on many factors.

The proposed information, breaking the issue down by gender, is that women can drink four drinks over a non-specified time, technically making it binge drinking. A man can consume up to five drinks over four hours before being considered a binge drinker.

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, since 1993 the number of college students actively involved in alcohol and substance abuse is about the same, but consumption has increased drastically.

Binge drinking is also defined as excessive drinking that interferes with normal everyday activities such as going to class, working, shopping and doing homework. An incredible hangover that continuously stops the progression of the day is the most noticeable symptom from a night of heavy drinking.

According to the Nemours Foundation, the generally accepted definition of binge drinking in the United States is the consumption of five or more drinks in a row by men – or four or more drinks in a row by women – at least once in the previous two weeks. Heavy binge drinking includes three or more such episodes in two weeks.

Realistically, participates of heavy drinking include many high school and college students and adults. Going out and partying can definitely sometimes get out of hand, and it is really hard to picture binge drinking being a factor in life. Many people will face years of drinking heavily and exist to not fully comprehend there is an issue, which can damage the body.

It is a proven fact that binge drinking can have short term effects. Sleep patterns and intelligence can be greatly impacted if drinks are consumed excessively as normal activity over a period of about two weeks.

Long periods of heavy drinking can cause major complications of the liver, heart and many other necessary organs. An over-consumption of alcohol may lead to alcohol poisoning, which many people die from each year. Others, when lucky, are rushed to the hospital and saved by processes such as stomach pumping, which, needless to say, is not fun.

Over the past decade there have been numerous accounts of college activities such as hazing that have caused students’ deaths by excessive alcohol intake. In 1998, a fraternity member at Illinois State University was discovered dead by roommates as a result of what was believed to be an alcohol overdose, a result of binge drinking.

That same year, a Penn State University student was found clinging to life on her 21st birthday. Her blood-alcohol level was nearly seven times Pennsylvania’s intoxication limits, which at the time was a level of .10. In recent years, Pennsylvania has lowered the legal limit to .08.

Hazing policies on college organizations have caused a stoppage of the cruel mistreatment of their pledges and new members. However, many different groups still actively participate in unhealthy hazing actions.

Depending on the organization, every initiation activity is different. There are tons of good groups, including sororities and fraternities, that do not participate in hazing their pledges. Do not let the statistics and facts scare you, there are numerous groups to join without having to consume excessive alcohol.

For people under 21, the legal limit for alcohol falls at a .00 BAC, not a .02. This is because like many other states, Pennsylvania is a participant in the .00 intolerance act against underage drinking. There are numerous legal consequences to underage drinking including fines, probation and community service, as well as many others.The darker the alcohol, the worse the effects are. Also, what the drink is mixed with makes a difference. Drinks mixed with cranberry juice can sometimes lower the chance of a bad hangover. Alka-Seltzer, according to its Web site, was originally a cure for an upset stomach; mix with water one tablet before bed, and some people say it will cure a hangover.

Another secret remedy personally used by many bartenders is Bitters. Bitters are a type of spirit made from different herbs and plants to flavor and add taste to drinks. Mix the bitters with club soda or some other soda and add some lemon and/or lime, and the stomach will feel awesome in about 20 minutes. Bitters can be purchased at almost every food and supplement store.

Only do this when the hangover has already started. It will not cure something that has not happened yet.

Water, the all time healer, is the most used cure. Before going to bed, drink a few glasses of water because hangovers are mostly caused by dehydration.

While nausea will probably not be the issue the next day, a raging headache is possible. Taking an over-the-counter medicine such as Advil, Excedrin, or Tylenol with a few glasses of water before bed will make for a much less painful day when waking up.

Let’s get real; people in college drink. Drinking is bound to be around even if not participated in. Just be careful about the choices made, and take care of the most important thing first – health.

Leanne Sturt is a second-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at LS637862@wcupa.edu.

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