USM hosts College Alcohol Awareness Week

USM hosts College Alcohol Awareness Week

The University of Southern Mississippi will host the College Alcohol Awareness Week outreach program Oct. 19th and 20th.

As part of CAAW, members of the Behavior and Alcohol Research lab at USM planned outreach activities to help students better understand the effects of harmful alcohol use and the benefits of safe drinking strategies.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about four out of every five college students drink alcohol, and half of those who do drink participate in binge drinking.

Each year, alcohol abuse affects college students as well as the community and families they are a part of.

Over 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries. More than 599,000 are injured while under the influence, and more than 25 percent of college students report academic consequences from the aftereffects of drinking.

According to a USM press release, USM will hold an event entitled “You Call the Shots” on Oct. 19. Students will learn about how much alcohol they are actually consuming in their favorite beverages, the potential associated health effects and safe drinking strategies.

On Oct. 20, USM will test students through drunk goggles and myth busting activities. The goggles are available to stimulate different levels of blood alcohol content (BAC) and associated

activities will have participating students engage in tasks as well as provide information to dispel common myths about drinking.

Both events will take place in the R.C. Cook Union Atrium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of the Behavior and Alcohol Research lab are also available to offer brief safe drinking discussions to groups or classes before CAAW.

Students were asked to give their experiences with alcohol and opinions on CAAW.

Jeremy Clinton, junior business administration major, admitted that he has had drinks before but does not consider himself a consistent drinker. He also said that drinking ended up being a hindrance to his studying.

“The work is pretty stressful, but you need to be focused to try and complete it,” Clinton said. “I feel like it’s an issue and there’s a lot of it going on. Excessive drinking is a problem.”

Holly Sturvivant, sophomore therapeutic recreation major, drinks alcohol as frequently as twice a month. She also added that she has been drunk before, and that being drunk affects one’s vision in the same way that the goggles do.

“When people don’t know what they’re doing, they drink too much and stuff happens,” Sturvivant said.

Support for these activities is provided in part through a grant received from the USM Foundation. For more information about the event, contact Mike Madson.

For more information about the Behavior and Alcohol Research Lab in the USM Department of Psychology, visit the Behavior and Alcohol Research Lab website.

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