Raise a glass to the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems

College is the only time in your life when you can get beat up by a football player, stumble home crying, piss the bed, barf all over your roommate and have people think you’re a cool person when you tell the story the next day. Just blame your actions on how much you had to drink. Par-ty!

The example above is extreme, but there’s no doubt that you’ll experience something along these lines during college. Drinking is firmly entrenched in college culture. Trying to eliminate this connection is unrealistic and, frankly, probably unnecessary. There are very few experts who won’t agree that going out to the bar and having some drinks with your friends can be part of a healthy lifestyle for college students.

You’re probably going to get really sloppy from time to time. Try to enjoy these times and not get too hurt or ruin too many relationships. And remember: Once college is done, the nights of drinking so much that you end up in the hospital almost immediately switch from being cool to being pathetic.

Ten Things You Need To Know About Alcohol

  • Drinking affects your nervous system. The active ingredient in alcoholic drinks is ethanol. It is a depressant that affects your central nervous system, relaxing the body, releasing inhibitions, increasing the likelihood of risky behaviors and causing poor judgment.
  • A lot of people drink. In the past year, 88 percent of college students, including underage students, have consumed alcohol. Additionally, 30 percent of college students meet the criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • Drinking can harm your body. Large doses of alcohol negatively affect memory, muscular coordination and sensory perception. An overdose, called alcohol poisoning, can be fatal.
  • Drinking can lead to failure. One-quarter, or 25 percent, of college students report that drinking has a negative effect on their academic performance.
  • Drinking can lead to regret. As many as 50 percent of college students admit that being drunk caused them to have unplanned sex with unfamiliar partners.
  • Drinking can lead to injury and death. Around 1,700 college students die every year from alcohol-related accidents. As many as 500,000 are non-fatally injured.
  • Some idiots are still drinking and driving. Only a small percentage of students are dumb enough to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking. Unfortunately, that small percentage still amounts to over 2 million students.
  • You can’t actually drink your blues away. Alcohol doesn’t relieve depression; it makes it worse. One-third of all suicides are alcohol-related.
  • A drink is a drink. A bottle of beer, a glass of wine and a shot of hard liquor all contain about the same amount of alcohol.
  • Nothing but time can sober you up. Coffee won't work. Bread won't work. Not even the coldest shower will do it. There's nothing you can do to get sober faster. There are, however, some things you can do to minimize the effects of a hangover.

Secondhand Effects

Drinking isn’t a completely personal thing. When you get loaded, you often affect others. For instance, each year, sober students are negatively impacted by drunken students in the following ways:

  • 60 percent are interrupted while they are studying or sleeping.
  • Over 50 percent have to take care of an intoxicated friend.
  • 20 percent of women have to endure an unwanted sexual advance.
  • 18 percent are in a serious fight.
  • 13 percent have their property vandalized.
  • 10 percent are injured.
  • 1.3 percent are sexually assaulted.
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