Binge Drinkers Ignore Dangers

Kevin A. Sabet is a former ASUC Senator and an associate at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy this summer.





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The recent article by John Parker and Geoff Kertesz reads more like a first grade testimonial than it does anything that should be inside a school newspaper ("Seniors Defend Drinking Habits," July 11).

These two men are unhappy - unhappy by the fact that they are classified as "binge drinkers." Well, a lot of people are, too. But not because of the stigma attached to the phrase, but really because binge drinking threatens campus life.

Binge drinking - like drug use - is a serious problem that should be addressed coherently by students and the administration of this campus. More needs to be done from the administration's point of view regarding drug and alcohol abuse.

Parker and his drinking partner ask, "How did these researchers arrive at five drinks as the watershed between a safe drinker and a binge drinker? Do they realize that five drinks can affect different people in different ways?"

These conclusions by the researchers conform remarkably with the best science on alcohol and how it affects the body. For most males, five drinks a day causes severe bodily damage and is constituted as "binging." For females, because of their average size, it is four drinks.

Parker and those like him shouldn't be threatened by the research but instead welcome it as a chance to re-evaluate their unhealthy habits.

As an ASUC senator two years ago, I ran and won with UNITE, the Greek party, partly because of the fact that the Greek community was neglecting its most serious problem and some wanted to do something about it rather than see their brothers and sisters suffer. Drug-free fraternities were a start, but more needs to be done to educate those on the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

Drinking until you pass out is not a rite of passage, as Parker and many like him unfortunately believe. In fact, admitting that they "drink when they are upset (and) drink to make social events fun" is as childish as it is dangerous.

The former ritual is a path to destroying one's life with alcohol. Also, since when did alcohol become the centerpiece of an event, more important than the reason for the event itself?

The students also say, "Has it occurred to anyone that alcohol consumption has been a hallmark of our society since time immemorial?"

Come on, guys. Put your beer down and your thinking cap on - just because something has been a part of our culture, does that make it automatically perfect?

What does slavery, segregation, cocaine to treat a headache, and denying women voting rights mean to you?

The writers arrogantly assert us to "get over it," but until our brothers, sisters, and friends stop ruining their lives because of a senseless addiction, better advice would be to "get on it" and educate. If we choose not to, millions of wrecked lives await.

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