• Brittany Fornal, Minot State nursing student

Bottoms up

Keep calm, the countdown is on! Spring Break is a highly anticipated time for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide. During this time, students plan to relax, let loose, and spend time with their friends. Whether you are spending time on the beach with your pals or kicking back at home, there is a great chance that drinking alcohol will be involved.

According to an article from the Badger Herald titled “Binge drinking poses serious health risks,” 80% of college students choose to drink alcohol in the U.S., and 50% of students binge drink. There is not a problem in consuming alcohol as long as it is done responsibly and in moderation.

Drinking in moderation helps to reduce stress. It provides an opportunity to establish new relationships and it also creates an “enjoy the moment” environment.

The opposite of drinking in moderation is binge drinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), binge drinking is measured as men who consume five or more drinks or women who consume four or more drinks in a single occasion.

Binge drinking is very risky and can damage your body in several ways. Drinking heavily impacts your liver causing inflammation or even scarring, which then may result in cirrhosis. It also impacts your brain.

While binge drinking, you may “blackout.” During this time, you will suffer from memory loss or amnesia of that particular day/night. This is extremely dangerous and puts your safety and the safety of others at high risk. This type of behavior puts you at risk for problems such as car crashes, sexual or physical violence, sexual transmitted diseases, alcohol use disorders, or even death, as stated by the CDC.

Here’s the bottom line: alcohol was created to be enjoyed responsibly and under moderation. It provides social benefits such as having a few glasses of wine after a long day of work or going out to the bar for a few drinks with friends. But the risks when alcohol is not used responsibly, such as binge drinking, may be very serious and even deadly.

Spring Break is a highly anticipated time among hundreds of thousands of students nationwide. It’s important to enjoy yourself responsibly.

Here are tips to help you stay safe during Spring Break: stay hydrated, eat food while you drink, know your limit to alcohol consumption, do not accept drinks from strangers, do not drive drunk or ride with anyone who has been drinking, avoid drinking games, and never leave your drink unattended.

Spring Break is a time to make new memories with friends, relax, and recuperate from the semester. This article is not to steer you away from having a few drinks, but to educate on the importance of drinking responsibly and staying safe.

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