Alcohol Is Number One!
Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for young adults.
Alcohol is the number one drug problem in America.
Alcohol-related car crashes are the number one killer of young adults in the United States.
If you think it can't happen to you, look around. Check your high school yearbooks for the last ten years. How many have been dedicated to a student who was killed in a drunk driving crash?
Ask you friends how many people they know who have had bad things happen to them when they are drinking.
You don't even have to be the one doing the drinking - most young adult passenger deaths are the result of alcohol-impaired young adult drivers.
How Does Alcohol Affect You?
- You see double, speech slurs, you lose your sense of distance.
- Alcohol loosens inhibitions; you make bad judgements that can result in car accidents, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases or rape.
- A significant proportion of violent crimes and vandalism among and by young adults involves alcohol. About 40% of all crimes (violent and non-violent) are committed under the influence of alcohol.
- Using alcohol can cost you your freedom. You can be grounded by your parents, lose your drivers license, face school disciplinary action, or even end up in jail.
Be Aware of Advertising
Take a good look at how the alcohol industry is trying to convince people to use their products.
- Studies show that alcohol advertising may predispose young people to drinking.
- For every "just say no" or "know when to say when" public service announcement, young people will view 25 to 50 beer and wine commercials.
- Recent advertising expenditures in the United States for beer, wine and liquor combined ($1.4 billion) totaled about 20 times the amount spent on milk ads ($70.5 million). A total of $910.4 million was spend on beer ads, $135.2 million on wine ads, and $377 million on liquor ads.
- Each year, college students spend approximately $5.5 billion on alcohol - more than they spend on soft drinks, milk, juice, tea, coffee and books, combined.
- The models on the beer commercials are always young, thin and beautiful. But alcohol has plenty of calories. Drinking it will not make your beautiful.
- Advertisements feature celebrities and sports figures. But drinking will not make you famous or athletic.
- Alcohol advertisers are trying to be more responsible by telling you not to drink and drive. However, drunk driving is not the only way alcohol can affect your life.
- Advertisers hope you won't stop and think when you see their ads. Don't be conned. Use your best judgement and learn the facts.
Some More Facts About Alcohol
- Drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or breathing fresh air will NOT sober you up. The only thing that sobers you up is time.
- A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine. or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, all of which contain the same amount of alcohol. Don't fall for the notion that beer and wine are less intoxicating than hard liquors.
- Binge drinking has been defined as at least five drinks in a row for men and four drinks in a row for women.
- In 2001, approximately 44% of college students reported binge drinking, according to a college survey. This percentage is almost identical to rates in three previous years.
- A College Alcohol Survey of four colleges indicated that binge-drinking levels are associated with ease of access, price, special promotions, and outlet density in college communities.
- As a result of their drinking, about 25% of college students report academic consequences, 11% report they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol, and 5% are involved with police or campus security.
- Each additional drink consumed by college students per occasion increased the probability of missing a class by 8% and getting behind in school by 5%.
- Only 3-5% of alcoholics are what we think of as bums. Most alcoholics are just like the people you know. Anyone can be come an alcoholic - young, old, rich, poor, married, single, employed or out of work.
- Parents' drinking behaviour and favorable attitudes about drinking have been positively associated with adolescents' initiating and continuing drinking.
- The earlier young people start drinking and using drugs, the more likely they are to become addicted.
- Alcohol ages and damages the brain - Alcohol affects all of the brain, which affects heart rate, coordination, speech, and destruction of brain cells. Alcohol dilutes itself in the water volume of the body in order to travel through the system. Those vital organs, like the brain, that contain a lot of water and need an ample blood supply are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.
- Recent research indicates that, in contrast to previous assumptions, the brain continues to undergo a tremendous amount of development through adolescence and into young adulthood.
Of the current student body in America, between two and three percent will eventually die from alcohol related causes, about the same number as will get advanced degrees, master's and doctorate degrees combined. For the over 12 million college students in the United States, the annual consumption of alcoholic beverages totals well over 430 million gallons. That is the same amount it would take to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool on every college and university campus in America. Alcohol is involved in sixty-five percent of traffic fatalities, fifty percent of all murders, % of all sexual assaults/rapes, thirty-three percent of all suicides, and forty percent of all fatal crashes.
For these reaons it is important that you know the facts so you can "call the shots."
Impairment vs. B.A.C.
- Blood Alcohol Consumption (B.A.C.) refers to the amount of alcohol contained in 100 ccs of blood and is legally expressed in grams percent.
- Impairment begins at .05 grams percent for adolescents and adult females and at .08 grams percent for adult males.
- Binge Drinking has been defined as at least five drinks in a row for men and four drinks in a row for women.
- Impairment is any time you have consumed or ingested enough of any substance to alter physical, mental and/or emotional functioning. Impairment may cause accidents, drinking and driving crashes, legal problems, decrease in job performance, fights, property destruction resulting from poor judgement, etc.
- Impairment occurs much sooner than a person feels or looks drunk. Impairment affects vision, reaction time and perception (especially of time and space).
Factors That Can Alter the Effects of Alcohol
There are individual factors that can speed up the effects of alcohol. As a result, your B.A.C. might be just a .06 or .08 grams percent, but your impairment level may be as high as .10 or .12 grams percent. The following are examples of various factors that can alter the effects of alcohol and an explanation of how they alter the effects:
Drinking on an empty stomach significantly speeds up the effects of alcohol.
Type of Drinking
The higher the percentage of alcohol, the faster the impairment. If the alcohol is mixed with food based products (i.e. juice or milk), it slows down the impairment. If alcohol is mixed with water or carbonated beverages, it speeds up the impairment.
Many over-the-counter medications can speed up the effects of alcohol, such as cold medications, antihistamines, aspirin, etc. The same is true of several illegal drugs (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, etc.).
Mood and Expectations
If you consume alcohol when either excited or depressed, impairment occurs quicker.
One drink in the plane is equivalent to two on the ground.
Recent Illness or Tiredness
Impairment can happen faster when drinking after even a minor illness or significant lack of sleep.
Older people and adolescents can not metabolize alcohol as quickly and can be impaired faster.
If you have a smaller liver you may not be able to metabolize the normal 1/2 oz. of pure alcohol (the amount in an average drink) per hour. In addition, the more fat content you have, the faster you will become impaired.
Oral Contraceptives and/or Menstruation
Females will be impaired quicker for three to four days prior to their period and if they are on oral contraceptives.
Tolerance vs. Impairment
- Tolerance does not offset impairment - it just delays it and some impairment that is not obvious occurs early (even with high tolerance).
- High tolerance gives false security that you "handle" your alcohol and, therefore, you are frequestly at a higher risk for accidents because you generally take more chances.
- People with high tolerance levels are chosen to drive because the do not appear to be impaired.
- Other drug use, especially marijuan, may give the false impression of tolerance.
- High tolerance is not effective in offsetting impairment in an emergency or unexpected situations.
How Does All This Affect Me?
Anyone who drinks to the level of impairment is at risk for a multitude of problems. These problems range from relationship issues, decrease in performance levels, reduction in abstract mental functioning, cumulative organ damage, increased occurrence of date and acquaintance rape, unplanned and unprotected sex, legal problems (i.e., DUIs, jail), automobile crashes, alcoholism and early death.
Consequences resulting from alcohol or other drug used experienced by students at least once in the past year:
Had a hangover - 63%
Became nauseated or vomited - 50%
Later regretted actions - 39%
Drove while intoxicated - 36%
Got into an argument or fight - 33%
Missed class - 30%
Experienced memory loss - 28%
|Blood Alcohol Content Chart|
|Blood Alcohol Level (BAC)||Effects*|
|.02||About one drink. Light or moderate drinkers feel some effect, usually warmth and relaxation. Legally intoxicated in Idaho and most other states for drivers under age 21.|
|.04||About one and a half drinks in an hour. Most people feel relaxed, talkative, happy; the skin may flush. Fine motor coordination will be affected.|
|.05||About two drinks in an hour. First recognizable changes occur, with lightheadedness, giddiness, lowered inhibitions and less control of thoughts. Restraint and judgement are lessened and coordination may be slightly altered. Driving is significantly more dangerous and should be avoided. DWI convictions occur at this level at a judge's discretion.|
|.08||Three to five drinks in an hour. Muscle coordination is impaired and reaction time is slower. There is sensory numbness in the face and lips. Hands, arms and legs may tingle, then feel numb. Loss of self-control. Crash risk greatly increased. Legally intoxicated in Idaho and most other states for drivers over age 21.|
|.10||About five drinks in an hour. A clear deterioration of reaction time and muscle control is present. Slurred speech and general clumsiness are present.|
|.15||Five to seven drinks in an hour. Balance and movement are dangerously impaired and all faculties are affected. Equivelant of one-half a pint of whisky in bloodstream.|
|.20||Seven to ten drinks in an hour. Motor and emotional controls are measurably affected. Slurred speech, staggering, loss of balance and double vision are present.|
|.30||Ten to fourteen drinks in an hour. Lack of understanding of what is seen or heard. Confusion, stupor, loss of consciousness.|
|.40||Ten to fifteen drinks in an hour. Unconsciousness - threshold of coma. Lethal dose for 50% of the population.|
|.50||Fourteen to twenty drinks in an hour. Deep coma. Lethal dose for 75% of the population.|
For the chart above, a drink is considered to be one and one-quarter once of liquor (a shot), four ounces of wine, or one 12-oz beer. People who have built a high tolerance will not necessarily experience the symptoms noted but will still reach a blood alcohol content that may be dangerous. However, a high tolerance is a sign of other problems related to alcohol use.
*Please note that gender, body size and type, fatigue, recent illness, food contact in stomach, altitude, age and use of other drugs and/or medications will alter the effects of alcohol in all of these quantities..
Safe and Sober Driving Guide
This chart shows the number of hours one must wait to safely drive according to weight and number of drinks consumed.
|2 drinks||3 hours|
|3 drinks||6 hours|
|4 drinks||10 hours|
|5 drinks||13 hours|
|6 drinks||16 hours|
|2 drinks||2 hours|
|3 drinks||5 hours|
|4 drinks||8 hours|
|5 drinks||10 hours|
|6 drinks||12 hours|
|2 drinks||2 hours|
|3 drinks||4 hours|
|4 drinks||6 hours|
|5 drinks||8 hours|
|6 drinks||10 hours|
|2 drinks||2 hours|
|3 drinks||4 hours|
|4 drinks||5 hours|
|5 drinks||7 hours|
|6 drinks||9 hours|
|3 drinks||2 hours|
|4 drinks||4 hours|
|5 drinks||6 hours|
|6 drinks||7 hours|
|3 drinks||2 hours|
|4 drinks||3 hours|
|5 drinks||5 hours|
|6 drinks||6 hours|
|3 drinks||1 hours|
|4 drinks||5 hours|
|5 drinks||4 hours|
|6 drinks||6 hours|
ANY alcohol at all in the system causes some functional impairment. The HOURS TO WAIT will vary depending on when the last drink was consumed, body weight, gender, medications taken, and general health.
Things You Should Know
- First time offenders may receive:
- A fine of several hundred dollars
- Loss of license and driving privileges for a period of several months (varies by state).
- A jail term.
- Many states have "Host" laws that make the host or hostess legally liable for the people after they have left their premises.
- Open alcoholic beverage containers in vehicles are illegal in Idaho and many other states.
- One out of every two Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident in his/her lifetime.
Alcohol Do's and Dont's
Serve a variety of non-alcoholic beverages if you host a party. Close the bar an hour before the party is over.
Be aware that the time you must wait after drinking ANY alcoholic beverages depends on the amount consumed, gender, general health, medications taken, etc. Be prepared to make alternative transportation arrangements.
Drink slowly and in moderation. It can take an hour or more for your body to eliminate the effects of just one drink.
Eat high protein foods like cheese, meat and eggs before drinking to slow down the rate of absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.
Get behind the wheel if you have consumed ANY alcoholic beverages at all. Sleep over, call a cab, or ask a friend to take you home.
Think you're safe if you stick with one kind of drink. It's the QUANTITY of alcohol that counts, not the type.
Go out drinking with friends without designating one as the non-drinking driver, or arranging for a cab or other transportation.
Mix alcohol and other drugs, whether illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. The combination can kill you or cause you to hurt or kill others.
REMEMBER...FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK!