February 02, 2012
Have Fun, But Stay Safe
Zeta Tau Alpha
Spring semester always includes a jam-packed calendar of events. There are holidays such as St. Patty’s Day, events including Carolina Cup, spring break and Beach Weekend, and milestones to celebrate, like graduation. What do all of these dates have in common? Typically, they involve at least some alcohol consumption (for those who are 21, of course).
Last semester our Greek community was in the spotlight for some of our less than shining moments. I am confident that one thing all of us can agree on, is that we would all like to put these incidents behind us and would rather be recognized for our hard work and philanthropic endeavors. To help make sure the focus on our community stays positive, and more importantly, y’all stay safe, I have included some basic information and facts about alcohol consumption and the warning signs of alcohol poisoning.
Did you know?
- 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes
- About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall
- 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol
- 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking
Here are some important factors to consider when consuming alcohol or when around alcohol consumption:
- Premenstrual hormonal changes cause a faster increase in BAC during the days right before a woman gets her period.
- The peak Blood Alcohol Level occurs 60 to 90 minutes after ingestion when the stomach is empty.
- Birth control pills slow down the rate at which alcohol is eliminated from the body
- One 12-oz. beer, one 5-oz. glass of wine and one 1.5 oz. shot of liquor have the same amount of alcohol.
- College students spend more on alcohol than on textbooks.
- It takes approximately one hour for each drink to be used by the body.
It can be hard to tell when a fun night out has taken a deadly turn. Be sure to read the warning signs of alcohol poisoning and what to do if you find yourself in this situation. Alcohol poisoning symptoms include:
Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
Low body temperature (hypothermia)
Unconsciousness ("passing out"), and can't be roused
If you suspect someone may have alcohol poisoning, you should:
• Know the danger signals.
• Do not wait for all symptoms to be present.
• Be aware that a person who has passed out may die.
• If there is any suspicion of an alcohol overdose, call 911 for help. Don't try to guess the level of drunkenness.
It is important that we are able to have fun and be safe this semester. Please contact the Student Health Services Center for Counseling and Human Development for substance abuse assessment and counseling if you think you have a drinking problem. Or you can take advantage of their consultation services if you are concerned about a friend.