Courtney Dickson, Wellness Columnist Ω
Just a couple of years ago, a young Canadian student lost his life because he had a few too many. Binge drinking might seem like a fun way to let loose with your friends or give young adults the confidence to talk to some hot guy, but the practice might cost you your life.
Of course being drunk can make you look like an idiot, at least to the sober people in the room. Not only does a drunk look stupid, but also burdens those nearby. When you’re falling over drunk, your friends are busy trying to decide how to help you, whether to take you home, get you water or decide if you need any help at all. They’re likely concerned you’re going to get kicked out of the bar or someone’s house. You’re ruining their night. They’ll tell you 100 times “it’s okay,” but for those of us who have been that friend, we know it isn’t.
Not only does this create issues with others, but the larger community could suffer as a result of your irresponsibility. If you get hurt while drinking and have to visit the emergency room, you might be taking time away from someone who really needs help. The World Health Organization wrote an entire report on alcohol-related injuries in emergency rooms, finding that somewhere between 10 and 18 per cent of emergency room visits are a result of alcohol use.
The World Health Organization report also found that 3.2 per cent of deaths are caused by alcohol.
A year after the death of Johnathan Andrews, a student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Acadia rolled-out an alcohol strategy to deal with on-campus partying, hoping to save the lives of students who may be pressured into having a few too many. Resident advisors are able to enter dorm rooms to check for alcohol, parents are encouraged by the residence to discuss drinking with their children and they have created designated areas for students who are of legal drinking age to consume alcohol. They’ve also spoken with local bars to ask them to be wary of the amount of alcohol they’re serving to each individual.
In 2010, a Queen’s University student fell to his death from his room in residence, and police confirmed alcohol was likely a factor, as he had been actively involved in frosh week at the time. That same year, another Queen’s student died when he fell through a skylight. Excessive alcohol consumption was considered as a factor in that death, as well.
As many have noted, though some schools have put in place a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol, students still have the ability and freedom to do their drinking elsewhere. Though students have this right, they also have responsibilities. A lot of people see drinking as a challenge. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say “I bet I can drink you under the table.” This kind of peer pressure is a reality.
The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse published guidelines for low-risk drinking, and recommends no more than two drinks for every three hours of consumption. For every alcoholic drink, you should have something non-alcoholic (water is ideal).
It’s normal to want to go have a drink with the boys (or girls), but being responsible and educated about alcohol is part of being an adult.