Take a moment to think, have you ever said this to one of your friends? Has one of your friends uttered these same words to you?
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Well these words could kill.
As the amount of alcohol consumed in one’s body increases, their ability to be attentive and make decisions greatly decreases. Therefore, getting in the car with someone who has been drinking throughout the night or driving after a night of drinking could have detrimental consequences. Even the slightest drink can cause changes to your body and its’ functions. For example, at .02% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) an individual has trouble performing two tasks at one time and their visual functions decline. At .05% BAC an individual can experience difficulty steering and have less of an ability to track moving objects. At .08% BAC the individual loses ability to control speed, or detect signals from traffic lights, other cars, and pedestrians. More importantly, they show signs of short term memory loss and an inability to concentrate at the task at hand.
The facts are pretty numbing. More than 17,000 Americans are killed each year to drinking and driving. Did you know that most fatal car accidents happen between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m?
Shockingly, on average a drunken driver kills someone every 40 minutes in the U.S. And equally important to note is that the rate of drunk driving is highest amongst the age group of individuals 21-25 years old. [NCAAD] Don’t become a statistic; think before you let yourself or someone you know drive drunk. Take steps to ensure you are participating in risk free drinking and check out the protective behaviors to understand what that looks like.
Check out some of the laws North Dakota has in place for drinking under the influence here: http://dui.drivinglaws.org/ndakota.php
Check out a personal story from a man whose life changed after a night of drinking: https://vimeo.com/35282858
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Drinking and Driving Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
…Did you know that 70% of Americans are using at least one prescription drug?…
In the past 20 years, the use of prescription stimulants has increased exponentially from 5 million to 45 million. With this increase of prescription drug use, the increase of abuse has also risen. Prescription drug abuse has become the fastest growing drug problem. The abuse of prescription drugs has caused more deaths than car accidents in the past year; it is also the 3rd leading cause of accidental death in the country. So, why is this important to us?
As we think about the abuse of prescription drugs we start to wonder who’s doing it, how they are getting the drugs, and where it is most common. One group of people abusing prescription drugs are college-aged students. There are a few common reasons that college students abuse prescription drugs. The biggest reason?…To get high and relieve stress related to work, school, relationships, and finances. Students also use ADHD medications to stay up all night to study for a test. What these students don’t realize is just how dangerous this can be. There are other ways to cope!
Although the percentage of college students abusing prescription drugs is quite high, the average number of students abusing prescription drugs at UND is quite low. According to the ACHA-NCHA survey and the KNOW campaign, 97.3% of students at UND do NOT abuse prescription drugs. This is an amazing and encouraging statistic! I hope UND students keep aspiring to stay drug- free and healthy. If you or a friend is struggling with a drug problem, get help right away. There are two great places to go on campus for help; Student Health Services and the University Counseling Center.
89.1% of UND students stay with their same group of friends when they party.
This is a social norm that has begun to spread across campus. If you are anything like me, your initial reaction might have been along the lines of “… Okay? …” This social norm can be a little confusing if you are not aware of what protective behaviors are related to drinking. It might seem odd that we’re telling you about students drinking, but what it is really saying is that UND students are being safe when they party!
Staying with your friends when you go out drinking is what we call a protective behavior. It’s important to always have people you know and trust around so that they can lookout for you if you ever need help, or are too drunk to recognize a dangerous situation; and you can do the same for them. Essentially, what we’re doing is using the “Buddy System.”
However, staying with your friends is not the only protective behavior out there…
There are many other actions you can take to keep yourself safe when you drink. A few of these include:
- Setting limits on how many drinks you will have in one evening;
- Limiting your drinking sessions to certain days and times;
- Eating before and during drinking;
- Avoiding risky or heavy drinking situations;
- Spacing out your drinks and alternating in non-alcoholic drinks; and,
- Making a pre-determined plan about how to get home at the end of the night that does not involve driving yourself.
These are just a few things to keep in mind the next time you go out drinking. Hopefully, this is helpful in explaining why it is good that students stay with their friends when out partying.