Spring Fest revelers should ‘Think before you drink’

Marrissa Stove is a senior mass communication major from Thibodaux, La.

Courtesy photo

As Spring Fest comes to a close those participating in celebrations are encouraged to consider their actions before drinking alcohol. 

Understanding the effects and dangers of alcohol abuse can inspire you and your loved ones to make smarter and healthier choices. 

Alcoholism affects individuals from all aspects of life. 

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 88,000 people die from alcohol abuse each year. Alcoholism has profound effects on the body—including the brain, heart, liver and immune systems. 

Did you know drunk driving accounts for 30% of all driving fatalities each year? 

Drunk driving costs the United States about $199 billion every year.

For some, college years are the best years of a person’s life. 

Did you know that about 80 percent of college students have consumed alcohol to some degree? About half of those students have participated in “binge drinking.” 

Binge drinking happens when a person consumes too much alcohol in a short amount of time. 

In women, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 5.3 million women ages 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder. About 50 percent of women of childbearing age drink alcohol and 18 percent of those women falling in this category binge drink five drinks on average). 

Excessive drinking can throw off menstrual cycles and can often lead to infertility. Women who binge drink are also more likely to have unprotected sex, increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Binge drinking dramatically increases the risk of sexual assault, especially on college campuses around the U.S.

According to CDC, nearly 60 percent of adult males have reported drinking, and about 20 percent of those reports have been of binge drinking five times per month (eight drinks on average). Believe it or not, men binge drink as twice as much as women, and men are also twice as likely than women to be intoxicated while behind the wheel of a car or involved in fatal motor vehicle incidents. Alcohol is definitely a common denominator when speaking on sexual assault between men and women. 

While excessive drinking increases the risk of sexual assault and the spreading of STDs, it also increases the aggression in a male, potentially resulting in physical assault on another person(s). It is also important to know the signs of alcohol abuse, whether you are abusing it or someone you may or may not know. 

Knowing these signs are an extremely important factor in receiving help for yourself and/or others.