In student culture, we have come to associate a good night out as one that includes excessive amounts of alcohol. However, too much drinking is actually having the opposite effect: it is endangering our health, safety, and wellbeing. Frighteningly, alcohol directly affects the brain and central nervous system by altering our brain chemistry.
A survey from the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that “students who binge one or two times during a two-week period are nearly three times as likely as non-binge drinkers to experience a blackout, have unprotected or unplanned sex, destroy property, [or] suffer an injury.” Not good.
Alcohol can so easily eliminate our control, and it is this, younger people in particular, need to become more aware of. Here are a few ways in which students are endangering themselves while drinking:
1) You lose your ability to make an informed judgement
As students, too easily are we able to make ourselves vulnerable through alcohol consumption; the events of one night can have a long lasting effect.
Tip: Know your measures. Pour your own drinks and understand the quantity of alcohol you have put in them.
2) You lose your ability to keep your personal thoughts calm and under control
Alcohol can be particularly damaging to teenage brains, which are still developing. Our thoughts are already racing at an aggressive pace through this period in our lives; alcohol is worsening this lack of emotional control.
Tip: Don’t drink if you haven’t had enough sleep. Alcohol affects you more intensely if you are already not feeling 100 per cent alert.
3) You lose your ability to think before you speak
A study from the University of Missouri College of Arts revealed alcohol impairs our ability to feel concerned about the consequences of our actions. Our rational and logical filter between what we think and what we say is disintegrated.
Tip: Wait half an hour between drinks before consuming more - it takes up to 30 minutes to for you to feel the effects of an alcoholic drink.
4) You lose your ability to remember
Alcohol can quite literally cause short-term blackouts. More stressful than the anxiety of realising what you have done on a night out can be the worry of not being able to remember.
Tip: Don’t drink on an empty stomach. food, especially that which is rich in carbohydrates and protein, helps your body to absorb alcohol and therefore stops the effects of drinking occurring too quickly.
5) You lose your ability to be a good friend
In a study investigating the effects of alcohol on human rationality and decision-making, one scientist concluded alcohol seems to “decrease emotional sensitivity toward someone else's pain.”
Tip: Know your limits - don’t try to keep up with others, focus on yourself, and what you can handle. Everyone has different tolerances and it is important to be aware of your own
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