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Remember all the risks of binge drinking

Drinking heavily is not uncommon in Pullman. Whether it’s because of our age, peer pressure or some other reason straight out of the D.A.R.E. program, it happens. And while I’m sure you’re well aware drinking too much equals a hospital visit, there are a slew of other issues you should be aware of before going out this weekend.

Q: I have noticed a lot of friends get carried away with drinking this year. Everyone knows binge drinking causes serious medical problems such as alcohol poisoning, but what are the more immediate consequences of drinking too much?

A: There are a couple of things that scare me at WSU. Like those guys skateboarding down huge hills in traffic. I mean, one pine cone and it’s game over. But the drinking thing definitely takes the unnerving cake. While I completely accept that drinking is a part of the culture in Pullman or any other town, the binge drinking is where people tend to sway off into problem behavior.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming four drinks in a row for women, and five consecutive drinks for men in less than two hours, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Because about 75 percent of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinking, the prevalence is extremely high.

So let’s talk consequences. First of all, the caloric content of alcohol is much higher than a lot of people think. One of the biggest drinking myths out there is that hard alcohol has far fewer calories than beer or other similar beverages. In fact, when you add up the calories both with the alcohol itself and a mixer, it’s about twice as many calories as beer. Consuming this many extra calories on a consistent basis is bound to affect your weight.

Empty calories aside, drinking has serious social consequences as well.

Due to decreased inhibitions, you’re much more likely to do things you will seriously regret when you sober up. Or people.

Sexually, people feel freer. They are less likely to use condoms and therefore more likely to contract an STI or get pregnant. They also become less selective of their partners. Waking up next to someone you don’t know, and probably don’t want to know, doesn’t ever feel good. People have less qualms about acting out. Violence, ego and bad dancing are all magnified by being drunk.

To avoid getting uncomfortably drunk, try to pace yourself. Drink slower and eat with your drinks. If you think you or your friends might have a problem, WSU Counseling and Testing Services offers free treatment for drug and alcohol issues.

Remember, college is college. We are in a unique community that embraces drinking. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is a transitory state we are in. Don’t expect to keep up with the same behavior and get away with it after you leave school. So have fun and be responsible, but this isn’t Never Never Land – everybody’s got to grow up sometime.
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source: Daily Evergreen

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