Think B4 U Drink: Blackouts, Benders & Binge Drinking Among College Students
by Joy Spencer
As college classes are starting and students are moving in to their apartments, dorms, and fraternity/sorority houses for the fall semester, the OLCC wants to remind students about the dangers of binge drinking.
“Binge drinking is a problem that affects a variety of age groups and can be very, very dangerous,” says Rudy Williams, OLCC director of the Public Safety program. “Whether you are celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday, your football team’s victories, or a great score on a test, make sure you are aware of the dangers of binge drinking and the effects that it has on the body.”
A few helpful tips for preventing binge drinking:
- Start the night with a non-alcoholic drink or soda
- Limit the amount of money you have with you, and leave your credit card at home
- Drink slowly - try to limit yourself to 1 drink per hour so that you can tell how you feel after every drink
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Fill up on food and water before and during the event
- Dance and move around a lot - you can’t drink as much as when you sit down all night
- Go out with a friend who doesn't drink that much, or at all
- Make a decision not to binge drink and help others not to do it
- Do not drink and drive
- Talk with health care providers about your drinking behavior and request counseling if you think you drink too much
“It goes without saying that it is illegal for anyone under 21 years old to drink alcohol. Studies show that binge drinking can have serious effects on a minor’s still-developing brain. Binge drinking as a minor can lead to alcohol dependency as an adult as well as long-term brain damage,” says Williams.
Because intoxication is a progressive reaction, businesses that serve or sell liquor, and their employees need to be able to identify when customers are approaching intoxication and how to manage their consumption. A few of the more common signs of visible intoxication include staggering, slurred speech, loud or boisterous behavior, or annoying other guests or servers. They should also be on the lookout for binge drinkers, because selling or serving to someone who is visibly intoxicated is against the law.
Check out OLCC and Pernod-Ricard's YouTube video targeting the excuses some people make to binge drink.