Workshop on alcohol fights common myths


Students discussed myths and facts and shared personal stories about alcohol during an Alcohol 101 Food for Thought workshop held by the Counseling and Psychological Services on Wednesday. | Emily S. Chambers/The Daily Cougar

The college years: for many of us, they include sleepless nights preparing for exams, working at jobs we may not necessarily like and partying.

Partying with friends from class, campus organizations or sororities and fraternities — these parties and social get-togethers are likely to involve the consumption of alcohol as part of the celebration.

However, some drinking-related behaviors lead to alcohol abuse.

For education sophomore Cory Scott, the topic of alcohol is a sensitive matter that he takes seriously.

“I am (at the workshops) because alcoholism runs in my family, and I want to learn more about that,” Scott said. “I rarely drink, and if I do it’s only on special occasions.”

Alcohol 101: Myths and Facts is one of the Spring 2014 Food for Thought workshops offered by the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services.

M.A. practicum student Sheetal Kini gave students a better understanding of how some common myths can lead students to believe that they are sobering up and how students should be careful and try to avoid consuming alcohol if alcoholism runs in their family.

“If alcoholism runs in your family, you are predisposed to alcoholism because it is already written in your genetic make-up,” Kini said. “You will start to develop alcohol dependence and not even become aware of it.”

Some of the common myths that were discussed in the workshop were that alcohol makes sex feel better, that alcohol makes you feel sexual and less inhibited and that drinking coffee after having more than three drinks in a two-hour period will make you sober up.

However, the facts are different. Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to perform, and this will include sexual drive, sexual performance and decision-making abilities, which may lead to riskier situations that could result in sexually transmitted diseases and an unplanned pregnancy.

Another common misconception is when a person feels in control and does not realize they are impaired. Drinking coffee will not make one get sober faster — only time will remove alcohol from the body.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, each year, an estimated 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes, and another estimated 97,000 students from 18 to 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

Binge drinking on the weekends is alcohol abuse, and its acceptability is another misconception many college students are unaware of. The capacity to drink alcohol between men and women differs. No one should try to compete with their friends because people have different alcohol tolerance levels.

Scott left the workshop with some new knowledge, but not every student felt the same.

Human development sophomore Jaqueline Colin did not leave feeling so content with the workshop.

“I also drink socially and wanted to know some of the causes that drive students to not be able to put down the bottle, and I was hoping to learn some teaching techniques but, unfortunately, did not,” Colin said.

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