College environment. There is always a constant pressure from

College
is a time period where students like to experiment especially when it comes to
drinking. It’s the most common and widely used drug that is prevalent and an
issue in the college environment. There is always a constant pressure from
peers to drink and it can encourage young individuals to participate in risky
behavior. Specifically, I have learned a lot about the relationship that heavy
drinking has with alcohol poisoning. I have witnessed several of my friends’
experience alcohol poisoning which ultimately made me want to research even
more on the topic. I hope that with what I learned already, along with the new
information I learn, that I can prevent and raise awareness to my peers about
the dangers of alcohol poisoning. Too much drinking can encourage college
students to participate in risky health behavior that may lead to alcohol
poisoning. There are absolutely no benefits in heavy drinking and in drinking
period. Eventually, the consequences from it can have significant effects.

What
exactly is alcohol poisoning? Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes a
large amount of alcohol in a short time (2012 McGraw-Hill Companies). It’s when
your Blood alcohol level is too high that it affects the brain and the nervous
system right away (2012 McGraw Hill Companies). The following signs and
symptoms that suggest an individual is experiencing alcohol poisoning include:
mental confusion, stupor, person is unconscious or semi-conscious and cannot be
awakened, cold, clammy, pale or blush or hypothermia (low body temperature),
seizures, slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute), irregular breathing
(10 seconds or more between breaths), and vomiting while passed out or not
waking up after vomiting (2012 McGraw-Hill Companies). If you suspect alcohol
poisoning immediately call 911. Some other things you can do would be to keep
the person warm, awake and keep their head up, and do not leave them alone,
turn them on their side, be prepared to administer CPR and keep in mind that
this person could die or permanent brain damage (2012 McGraw-Hill Companies).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

There
are actions that are being taken in order to address this issue by raising
awareness that drinking is an issue. According to the article by National
Institute on Alcohol abuse and alcoholism: College drinking, there is research
going on that continues to improve our understanding on the issue. Some of the
efforts involve strategies where colleges are not only targeting individual
students but the student population and college communities. Some of the
efforts that are mentioned was the individual-level interventions which
include: education and awareness programs, cognitive-behavioral skills- based
approaches, motivation and feedback-related approaches, and behavioral interventions
by health professions (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Many
of the students that are targeted in this group are the students that are the
most vulnerable to risky drinking behavior who may be involved in Greek
organizations and are student athletes. One of the major goals that the article
brings up is associated with the student population and college communities to somehow
decrease the availability of alcohol. The article mentions, if the availability
of alcohol is decreased then it shortens the consumption and the harmful
consequences on a college campus for students. This goal may be difficult for
colleges to attain because it’s easy for students to afford low-cost alcohol. With
this being said, many of the efforts that colleges have been promoting may not
be showing as much success. Even though, there are efforts trying to keep under
control the accessibility to alcohol there needs to be a stricter enforcement
of policies. Many of the existing policies are not enforced as they should be
which can contribute more to the heavy drinking culture. Published by the
American Journal of Public Health: Will
Increasing Alcohol Availability by Lowering the Minimum Legal Drinking Age
Decrease Drinking and Related Consequences Among Youths? states that “The
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act requires college administrators
to enforce the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years but this restriction only
targets half the population in college who are 21 years old.” This article also
points out that surveys collected from college administrators showed how the
enforcement of alcohol policies at most of the colleges is limited, and that
colleges just focus more on the prevention efforts on educational programs for
students (American Journal of Public Health). There was one national survey that
showed that “fewer than 1 in 10 underage students who drink alcohol reported
experiencing any consequences for violating alcohol policies imposed by their
college (American Journal of Public Health).” This number is astonishing to me because
that means that students are getting away with their reckless drinking
behavior. After reading both articles and seeing their efforts in combatting this
situation, the best effort would be for the enforcement of the drinking
policies to be harsher. Colleges where the campus security strongly enforce the
alcohol policy on the students help them realize their efforts and are less
likely to drink heavily (American Journal of Public Health). If colleges
minimize the consumption of alcohol with the enforcement of policies, then
there will be less incidents of alcohol poisoning.

A few
other ways that students can avoid alcohol poisoning would be to drink alcohol
in moderation, not to drink on an empty stomach, set a drink limit before you
start, keep track of what you had, space and pace your drinks, avoid drinking
games, plan not to drink, know your limits, and know what counts as a drink
(2012 McGraw-Hill Companies). If you make the decision of drinking, then make
sure to not drink quickly. Also, students need to be aware of how much is a
drink. By knowing how much is a drink may allow students to avoid heavy
drinking and its other consequences. In the United States, a 12 oz. beer, 4-5
oz. wine, 1 ½ oz. liquor all have the same amount of alcohol (2012 McGraw-Hill
Companies).  

Not
only should colleges enforce alcohol policies that are stricter but they should
also provide a part in the policy that protects a student that helps another
student that is presenting symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Some colleges are
establishing medical amnesty policies which encourage students to seek for help
when the symptoms of alcohol poisoning are present. The policies state that a
student is promised the amnesty for university alcohol policy violations if the
student calls for help. There have been studies where students are afraid to
seek for help because they fear that there will be an involvement of the police
(Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs Supplement). Students should not be
afraid to help others because of violations in polices.

Alcohol
itself is responsible for the most illnesses, injuries and deaths than any
other drugs out there (2012 McGraw-Hill Companies). It’s the most popular psychoactive
drug here in America and its use is responsible for 75,000 deaths per year
among Americans. Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the
United States (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). These facts
about alcohol is not surprising and one can only imagine the deaths among
college students from alcohol poisoning. According to the article “College Student
Assessment of the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning: To Dream the Impossible Dream,”
it states that there “is no good estimate of the number of college students who
die each year of alcohol poisoning.” After reading about this, it scared me
because there could be a lot of students that are dying from alcohol poisoning
and we don’t have an exact number. In a CDC report on binge drinking it stated
that 113 people between the ages of 15 and 24 die annually from alcohol poisoning.

Then it stated that they had to assume the number that if they assumed that
one-third were college students, then 35 of them die a year (The Washington
Post).

In
comparison to other countries in the world, it seems that heavy
drinking/drinking is not just a problem in the United States. As it was mentioned
before, heavy drinking has a correlation with alcohol poisoning being a risk
factor. In Europe, Europeans do consume more alcohol than other people from
other countries but they don’t drink as excessively as people do here in the
United States. In the European culture, drinking in moderation rather than
quickly is an important part of their culture. Globally, there have been 66,513
alcohol poisonings (World Health Organization).

 In general, students that engage in college
drinking may also face other consequences such as suicide attempts, health
problems, injuries, unsafe sex, and driving under the influence of alcohol, as
well as vandalism, property damage, and involvement with the police (National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Students need to realize that binge
drinking to the point that you lose judgment, have no motor coordination, are
sick and hangover, or have alcohol poisoning is not worth it.

In
conclusion, college students should think twice about drinking. Yeah, drinking
may be something they think is central to their expectations of what their college
experience should consist of. But, in reality, they lose so much more and if
they are not lucky they may end up having alcohol poisoning. They should also
know that if they feel they have an issue with drinking heavily they are not
alone. Here on Towson’s campus you can go to the counseling center if you are feeling
that you are drinking for all the wrong reasons. It’s necessary to know that
so, then you can prevent yourself from experiencing alcohol poisoning.