Pick your poison

By Ashley Randazzo
April 27, 2006

Matt Schill

College students everywhere can agree that alcohol has one true effect on them: drunkenness. But what those same students may not know is that they are hurting their bodies now and it could lead to harsher consequences later on in life.

Alcohol is known as a nervous system depressant. According to http://staff.washington.edu/chudler/alco.html, a chart includes the different effects of alcohol depending on how much is consumed and in the time frame.

In the first premature stages, one to four ounces of alcohol consumed impairs judgment, motor coordination and reaction time. This stage can be considered as a “buzzed” stage.

Next, if four to 12 ounces of alcohol are consumed in one hour, the person is clearly drunk and usually has slurred speech, nausea or vomiting. After 12 ounces or more of alcohol are consumed in one hour, the person will not be able to control reflexes and is most likely to be in an unconscious state. Keep in mind that mixed drinks and shots will make a person drunk and incoherent faster depending on the proof of the alcohol.

Victoria Lofgren, a freshman liberal arts major, has had her own personal experience with the effects of alcohol. “I never really drank until my senior year in high school and from there it was downhill,” she laughed. “One night I just plain drank too much and I was so sick, I felt like I was going to die. I was so scared because I just passed out in front of everyone and people said I hit my head really hard.” Lofgren says she has learned her lesson and hasn’t had an episode like that since.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse confirms that even if a person drinks alcohol every week and exceeds approximately seven to 10 drinks in one sitting serious medical problems can occur. It can damage frontal lobes of the brain and also shrink the size of the brain all together. It also causes a vitamin deficiency when alcohol is used excessively over time.

To the body, alcohol acts like a poison and is linked to liver failure. Bill Marcelo, a freshman business major had no idea that alcohol can be so detrimental to someone’s body. “Drinking was just something to do when my friends and I wanted to have a good time. I don’t think I have a problem with drinking, but the effects seem too scary to dismiss.”

Though college students everywhere are aware of the physical effects of alcohol, many do not see or neglect the truth that alcohol is a substance that should be used sparingly. An anonymous student had this to say about his personal experience with alcohol, “I don’t see a big deal with drinking. I always drink on Thursday nights because that is my own personal tradition, and it probably won’t change.”

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@yahoogroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Matt Schill

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Ashley Randazzo

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