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Blame it on the Alcohol

Binge drinking remains dangerous habit among students

Foam reaches the tip of the glass like the tide coming in for the night. The familiar, soothing taste of beer rushes down your throat, followed by a grunt of satisfaction and the glass returning to the bar. Round after round, the glass is lifted, the drink is emptied and the glass returns. Half an hour has passed and there sit five empty glasses. Your vision is blurry, your confidence is up and your mobility is questionable. You’re drunk.

Legally, binge drinking is defined as the act of drinking enough alcohol to bring a person’s blood alcohol concentration to .08 grams percent or above in two hours, but many students rarely seem to just follow that guideline.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use.

Most of those who binge drink are not dependent on the substance.

College students notoriously have high rates of alcoholism and incidents of alcohol poisoning. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, four out of five college students take part in the consumption of alcohol.

“I think it’s an age thing,” said Abigail Chiroy, sophomore international business major. “People think that they want it because they can’t have it.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of underage drinking in the United States comes in the form of binge drinking. Though the drinking age is 21 in the United States, underage drinking is not an uncommon sight for Americans.

“I think it’s because they leave home and they go somewhere where they don’t have parents or guardians watching over their every move,” said Nathan Harris, junior communications major and co-president of Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol now known as Students Advocating Better Actions. “They take that freedom and they do more and more with it.”

According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in 2012, 81 percent of students across the nation took part in binge drinking.

“I go out about three times a week, that includes bars for karaoke, clubs to dance and to my friend’s house to hang out,” said Jamarious Wicker, senior theater major. “Drinking takes the edge off. It’s like letting the air out of the bag.”

Wicker’s favorite drink is wine. For him, an ideal night would be doing something with friends, instead of simply hanging around drinking, but many students, especially those under the legal drinking age, feel the urge to push it further, especially when they reach the legal age.

“I feel like everyone has that month of ‘alcoholism’ after turning 21, but I would say most people start slowing down,” said Harris. “It sounds awful but a lot of people start slowing down when there’s not that thrill of it being illegal anymore.”

Because the university is aware that binge drinking exists, it provides a safe way home. Corky’s Cab is the university’s “safe ride” program for students planning on going out and drinking in town. Whether it’s excessive drinking or not, students can catch a ride home from, but not to, a bar, not a person’s house, via this service. To use Corky’s Cab, call 620-366-0500.

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