Spring break is a free time many students look to use to deviate from the business of college life. On Monday, March 2, Kean University Peer Educators and Student Health Services held their Spring Break Safety event in the Nancy Thompson Learning Commons Learning Center, where they promoted ways for students to keep themselves out of harm's way during break.
The table was adorned with pamphlets packed with facts about alcohol and STDs. Hand-outs, such as tissues and lip balm, were given to students.
Attendees were able to play a game of cup pong and answer questions about alcohol consumption. Fatal Vision goggles were available for students to wear and have a hands-on experience with the effects of intoxication.
"We just wanted to give some more information to the student population on how to be safe when it comes to alcohol consumption and being in large groups," said Lillie Barber, a Peer Educator who works in Student Health Services.
Barber feels strongly about safety awareness being promoted more on campus.
"Unless students are given information outside of the classroom, they won't know how to keep themselves safe," she continued.
Per data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 who die from injuries that are alcohol related and caused unintentionally, such as motor vehicle accidents.
The prevalence of alcohol usage in college students is at a significant rate.
About 54.9% of full-time college students aged 18-22 consumed alcohol within the past month, compared to 44.6% of others in the same age group. 20% of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder.
36.9% of college students reported binge drinking in the past month. Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings a person's blood alcohol concentration to 0.8 grams or higher when consumed.
This occurs after a woman consumes four drinks, or after a man consumes five drinks. The effects kick in within about two hours.
Those who binge drink are at risk of contracting alcohol poisoning, an overdose that occurs when there is an excessive amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, which impedes the body's ability to function properly.
Signs of alcohol poisoning are:
- mental confusion
- difficulties with remaining conscious or being unable to wake up
- slow and irregular breathing
- decelerated heart rate
- low body temperature
- pale, clammy or bluish skin
Those who spot these signs in someone suffering from alcohol poisoning shouldn't hesitate to call for help. Making the right decision could save a person's life.
Student Heath Services is dedicated to supporting the health and wellness needs of the student body. Their office is open to all matriculated students at Kean University, and is located in Downs Hall, Room 126.
They are open from Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the services they provide can be viewed on their Kean web page.