Taking a Closer Look Into the Dangers of Binge Drinking

By Rachael Smith, Student at Radford University

One of the highlights of living away from home and on your own in college is freedom. For many college students, that freedom lies within the freedom to drink alcohol.

Most of the time, us college girls love to drink for several reasons: to become more confident, to loosen up, to meet people more easily and to have a fun time. Those are all legitimate reasons, but for some reason when we start drinking, it can be hard to stop sometimes. But if we don’t know our limits, the consequences can be fatal.

As a member of Greek Life at my school, I have heard countless seminars on drinking and what all of the facts are. The story that sticks with me the most, though, is when a friend of mine binge drank, not keeping track of her amount of alcohol she was consuming. Because of the excessive amount of alcohol she put in her body, she became unable to control her actions. She ended up falling and had a run-in with cops, getting arrested for being intoxicated in public. She only had to stay one night at the jail, but the consequences will live with her forever.

According to this study1,825 college students die between the ages of 18 to 24 from alcohol-related unintentional injuries. Approximately 696,000 are assaulted by another drunken student and 97,000 are victims of sexual abuse while intoxicated (Magnitude of and Trends in Alcohol-Related Mortality and Morbidity Among U.S. College Students Ages 18-24, 1998-2005). These students all thought they were invincible, but this shows each year college students are exposed to more alcohol and crime then they think is out there.

If you get blacked out while drinking, it can cause brain damage or memory loss. This is because our brains are still developing. Alcohol also affects your blood pressure, your liver and your stomach. It's also loaded with calories and dehydrates your skin, making it look red and blotchy.

Andrew Mudie, a member of the EMT program at Radford University, says he sees carelessness all of the time in college students.

"One of the biggest things that I see with people that are overly drug or that have alcohol poisoning is the complete inability to take control their actions, take care of themselves and have an awareness of what is going on around them," he says.

If you drink too much, you are at a higher risk for rape, mugging or getting involved in a damaging relationship. Alcohol is meant to help us have a fun time, but that doesn’t mean it is necessary in your life.

Enjoy college to the fullest and don’t feel the need to succumb to binge on alcohol — the negative results are not worth it.

Image: Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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