The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Binge-drinking should not be the norm

In a simplistic way, an alcoholic drink is any beverage that contains more than a minimal amount of ethanol or ethyl alcohol. 

Beer, wine, and spirits are each produced by a process called fermentation, which is the natural outcome of yeast digesting the sugars found in ingredients like fruit, cereal grains, or other starches. 

As a result of fermentation, two substances emerge:  ethanol and carbon dioxide. Ethanol is the alcohol people drink, but there are other forms of alcohol that may be damaging or even lethal to consume. Additionally, ethanol can be found in the gasoline, but I strongly advise not to drink that. 

My aim in this piece is to inform the readers about alcohol in college life and raise awareness to fight binge drinking.

Consuming alcoholic beverages during college is a ritual students often see as an integral part of their college experience. Many students arrive at their universities with established drinking habits, and the college atmosphere can aggravate these problems. 

What are common causes for college drinking? Researchers show that individuals are motivated to act in ways that will project socially popular images of themselves. 

According to the Californian Journal of Health Promotion, anxieties about peer acceptance, social approval, and being “one of the crowd” may be the leading causes of alcohol consumption among college students. 

Surveys indicate freshman students often consume alcohol to project ideas of themselves as being  “cool and laid back” and “fun and social.” 

Almost 75 percent of freshmen college students report performing at least one unsafe behavior—the most common of which is alcohol use—during their first semester in order to “fit in.”

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above.” 

This typically occurs when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. Studies reveal that more than 80 percent of college students drink alcohol, and nearly half of them report binge drinking in the past two weeks. 

Almost all college students experience the effects of “college drinking” whether they drink or not. 

Binge drinking in college students is a national concern. According to social scientist Sharma Kanekar, it is a problematic issue both at an individual level and a societal level. 

He asserts that no single theory can describe binge drinking, and a preventative effort from only one discipline cannot solve the binge drinking problem. Collaborative efforts are required both at societal and an individual levels. 

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “One standard American drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in: 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about five percent alcohol; five ounces of wine, which is typically about 12 percent alcohol; and one and a half ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40 percent alcohol.” 

It is vital a person know this because the average body can process one standard drink per hour. This information can help you to monitor your alcohol consumption and prevent  you from drinking more than you intended.

If you are a student at Mississippi State University, there are plenty of valuable resources any student can use to cope with binge drinking. 

One is ScreenU, which is a web-based substance abuse combative method that administers screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment to college students. It aids students who are abusing alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs and offers feedback and strategies to reduce their risk for experiencing negative results from their use. 

A second available source is the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (G.A.I.N.) program. It is a free program for M.S.U. students. 

It is confidential and non-judgmental. It consists of two thirty minute interviews, and provides personalized feedback about many topics including alcohols effects on the body and blood-alcohol-content, how a student’s alcohol choices compare to drinking norms of other M.S.U. students, alcohols impact on financial spending, caloric intake of alcohol, and things students can do to protect themselves from becoming alcohol dependent. 

MSU students can schedule an appointment by sending an email to “[email protected].” 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Reflector

Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Reflector

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Binge-drinking should not be the norm