On Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, Kean University's Peer Educators and Student Health Services set up a table to educate students on alcohol safety and prevention in the Miron Student Center atrium.
Stories about students drinking and getting into life-threatening accidents filled a poster board to inform students of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.
Booklets with facts about binge drinking, alcohol poisoning and info on wellness resources and hotlines were neatly laid across the table for students to take.
More information about the effects of alcohol were provided through a mock beer pong game, where participants played and received candy for prizes.
On each cup, there was a question about alcohol with the answers at the bottom. Students were able to try on an array of beer goggles with different mimicked Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels to learn about the effects alcohol has on someone's vision and balance.
"We are hoping that students walk away with more mindfulness about drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car," said Lillie Barber, a Kean University Peer Educator.
Barber feels the table provided enough information to inform students of the dangers of excessive drinking.
"We believe it was effective," continued Barber. "The focus was about different definitions on drinking."
Per data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually.
This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
When consumed heavily, alcohol leads to a lot of problems. It irritates the stomach which causes vomiting. It also slows a person's breathing and heartbeat, along with their gag reflex (which prevents choking). It is possible for someone to choke to death on their vomit because of it.
Binge drinking is when a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short period of time. Binge drinking is most common during drinking games, dares and bets.
For men, binge drinking is typically means consuming five or more drinks in two hours, and for women, it's four or more.
This a huge problem among young people. Alcohol use during adolescence interferes with brain development, increasing the risk of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking such as missing class, receiving poor grades and falling behind in their workload.
1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die annually from alcohol-related injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes. Three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol use is in part from binge drinking.
Alcohol poisoning is considered a medical emergency which can lead to death. It could cause the brain to shut down, which affects functions controlled by the brain.
When someone has alcohol poisoning, the heart can cease beating or breathing could stop. Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
- confusion or slurred speech
- poor coordination (e.g. stumbling)
- clammy or blue skin
- slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute)
- severe vomiting
- low body temperature
- passing out and not waking up
Knowing these signs and taking proper action can save a person's life. Alcohol affects everyone differently, depending on their weight, age and gender. It is important to drink responsibly and know the limit.
Student Health Services aims to complement the educational mission of Kean University through the removal of health-related barriers to learning and promoting wellness through its many programs.
Information about Student Health Services can be found their web page on the Kean website. They are located in Downs Hall, Room 126 and can be reached by phone at (908) 737-4880.