Binge drinking increases health risks

By on October 3, 2002

The college drinking scene has become a distinct culture at Quinnipiac. A college party consists of loud, drunken students stumbling over themselves, vomiting uncontrollably and waking up the next day with a hangover, a massive headache and nausea.
It is common to hear about “drunken hook-ups,” getting drunk before going to a nightclub, getting drunk before a social event and even driving to a bar with the purpose to get drunk, and later drive home in that same condition.
“Yes, I see excessive drinking on the weekends at Quinnipiac, but who doesn’t?” said Katie Cascio, a sophomore and athletic training major. “Beer pong, being loud, arguing, taking shots and passing out, these are things that happen on a regular basis during the weekends.”
Despite laws in Conn. and school regulations, which make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase and possess alcohol, students still easily obtain liquor and beer and transport it on to campus.
Aside from the fact that students are able to get their hands on alcohol, there is a larger problem in the making at Quinnipiac. Binge drinking is becoming one of the largest campus problems to date.
According to The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, a public health agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, said binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more drinks in a row for women.
Binge drinking often begins around the age of 13 for both girls and boys and peaks at early adulthood around the ages of 18 to 20.
Although students would like to think they are responsible drinkers and have relative control over themselves in this state, the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information tells students to think twice.
Nearly one out of every five teenagers experienced a blackout spell, where they could not remember what happened the previous evening because of heavy drinking.
More then 60 percent of college men, and almost 50 percent of college women who are frequent binge drinkers report they drink and drive, said the association.
The Harvard School of Public Health also completed a study concerning college drinking. In a survey of nearly 17,600 students at 140 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. they found more than half of the students from one third of the colleges were binge drinkers.
Seventy percent of men and 55 percent of women reported they are intoxicated three or more times a month, and more than half of the men and women cited drinking just to get drunk.
According to the study, binge drinkers are 16 times more likely than non-binge drinkers to miss class, to fall behind with school work, to engage in unplanned sexual activity, to not use protection when having sex, to get in trouble with campus police, to damage property or to injure themselves.
Other side effects of binge drinking include alcohol poisoning, a severe or potentially fatal physical reaction to an alcohol overdose, vomiting, unconsciousness and irregular breathing.
Also, if binge drinking continues past the student’s college years, they could be spending time at Alcohol Anonymous meetings and potentially dealing with liver cancer, according to The National Clearinghouse.
Many students choose to block out hours of studying during the week with a bottle of hard liquor on the weekends, but according to The National Clearinghouse, alcohol is harmful to the body and the brain, it is against school regulations and can cause life-threatening problems in future years.


About Jennifer Lorrain - Staff Write