Costumes and candy are the first things that come to mind when thinking about Halloween, but for most college students it means an opportunity to get drunk.
Incoming freshmen should be aware of the dangers of drinking on this holiday. Most people who are new to drinking go overboard and are in danger of alcohol poisoning.
A few of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, seizures and being in a coma, according to a website that aims to change the culture of drinking in college called College Drinking.
If a person has alcohol poisoning and lays there in a stupor while the body is trying to rid itself of the alcohol by vomiting, there is a chance that person can choke on the vomit and die.
Even a dry campus, such as CSU East Bay, can have a high number of students drinking at the dorms, but with so many residents and very few Resident Assistants it is impossible to keep an eye on everyone.
I lived at the Pioneer Heights dorms during my freshman year. On Halloween night, I saw many people getting drunk and no Resident Assistants were in sight.
A particular incident that stayed with me was when I saw a girl dragged into the building by her best friend and what I assumed was the university police.
The drunken girl could not stand on her own, much less keep her dress from riding up.
“There’s nothing to see here! Go back to your dorms,” yelled the policeman at us. But there was so much to see there! That girl was the first person I had seen drunk and she looked terrible.
I knew it must have been her first time drinking because she was showing all the signs of alcohol poisoning and it was only 9 p.m.
So, why did they catch that girl but not all the other students drinking? The answer is simple; moderation. If students go overboard drinking they are more susceptible to getting caught becaue their drunken impairment makes them vulnerable. If you are going to drink, do it with moderation.
Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) or Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) “is the amount of alcohol present in your blood as you drink,” stated on the Facts on Tap organization website.
Everyone can figure out their own BAL by following charts that show the percentage of alcohol determined by the amount of drinks ingested in an hour and their body weight.
Facts On Tap explains the percentages of BAL and the possibilities of alcohol poisoning. With a BAL between .02% and .05%, most people feel relaxed and warm. If their BAL reaches .10% their motor skills are impaired. Having a .15% BAL can cause memory loss and blacking out while a .20% BAL can cause vomiting. Once a person reaches .25% BAL they are emotionally and physically numb. Anything from a .30% BAL or higher can cause a coma.
Most alcohol poisoning can happen with a .30% BAL, but everybody is different, thus, there is no exact percentage that determines alcohol poisoning, according to Facts on Tap.
The best way to avoid alcohol poisoning is to avoid drinking at all. However, most students will drink anyway. So if you find yourself being one of those who choose to drink try to keep your BAL as low as possible by not drinking as much or pacing yourself to one drink an hour.
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 2:19 pm.