Archive for July, 2012

Energy drinks, alcohol, and sex

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

A recent study published in the Journal of Caffeine Research found that American college students who drink alcohol mixed with energy drinks (caffeinated beverages) are more likely to engage in casual sex. Popular energy drinks such as Red Bull and Amp are combined with vodka, Jagermeister, or other liquors.

According to Kathleen E. Miller, a senior research analyst at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions says that, “caffeine makes it more difficult to assess drunkenness.”

The study shows that when students combine alcohol with energy drinks leads, they are less decisive about sexual encounters. Energy drinks increase cravings for another drink, and consequently college students end up drinking more alcohol than they would without using an energy drink as a mixer.

According to US News and World Report, “The research doesn’t prove that drinking energy drinks with alcohol causes drunkenness and promiscuity.” However, Miller, “hopes the findings lead to safety legislation or educational campaigns.”

More common than parents think

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Jackson, Tennessee’s Jackson Sun recently published an extensive story on underage drinking in West Tennessee. According to the article, police have been frequently “busting” clandestine backyard parties where parents–or even residents–are not present. Law enforcement officials who commented for the story argue that underage drinking is even more common than parents realize.

Read the full story here.


10 Most Famous Hazing Cases

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Our friends at Online Colleges shared a piece on the 10 Most Famous Hazing Cases to Land in Court. This compilation of information about hazing, and the number of high profile cases in recent years, speaks to the gravity of the crime and to the consequences of not choosing to teach responsibility.

Readers, we invite your thoughts on Online Colleges’ piece.

Marshall coaches take interesting approach to safety, drinking

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Beginning in June, Marshall University coaches and student athletes began taking “ride alongs” with Huntington Police Department officers. Accompanying police officers as they patrol the college town’s night life exposes coaches and athletes to the realities of irresponsible drinking, especially alcohol fueled fights. These ride alongs also reveal first hand the struggles police officers face on a daily–and nightly–basis.

Read more about the Marshall University coaches’ approach to teaching responsible behavior here.

PCLB awards grants to prevent underage drinking, promote responsible consumption

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will commit over $1 million towards efforts to prevent underage drinking in the state of Pennsylvania. PCLB chairman said of the grants, “The PLCB understands the many issues communities face as a result of underage drinking and irresponsible consumption. These grant awards allow us to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of Pennsylvania families and their communities.” Focusing on health and safety, the grants will discourage underage drinking and will also encourage responsible consumption for those of age.

For the full story, click here.

Did you know?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Over 1,000 lives of 18-24 year-olds are lost annually to alcohol off the highways, a figure that has been increasing since 1998.

Readers, what are you doing to make a difference?

Moderate intake may prevent bone loss

Friday, July 13th, 2012

A recent study at the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University claims that moderate alcohol consumption may help prevent bone loss in older females. Post-menopausal women’s bodies continue to replace old bone cells with newer ones. However, this turnover happens at a much slower rate. Thus, as a woman ages, her bones become more prone to breakage.

Research from this study suggests that alcohol slows the rate at which bones shed cells, and results were noticeable in as little as two weeks. Women who drank up to two drinks per day had denser hips than women who did not. After just two weeks of abstaining from alcohol, blood tests proved that bone loss had increased in women.

Daniel Webster

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Politician Daniel Webster once commented that, “liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint.” He was not talking about alcohol use, but his words could not be more appropriate, especially when considering college drinking and regulation. College campuses can be battle grounds with regards to alcohol. Alumni fondly recall the fun they had and students envy their stories while administrators work tirelessly to keep students safe and on task. Yet safety might not be such a battle if administrators, RAs, peer advisors, parents, and the like were able to communicate–honestly–about responsible consumption. Because when the conversation turns from restriction to liberty with wholesome restraint, the results may also turn.



Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I recently had a conversation with the father of a college age female. Through the course of our conversation, which turned to college drinking, he noted that he had attempted to “teach” his daughter to drink before she matriculated as a college freshman. While we’re not condoning a behavior that’s illegal in many states (serving to minors), he raised a relevant point about sending young men and women to college. Although he offered his daughter mild alcohol beverages, she seemed disinterested in consuming alcohol. However, he glibly noted that she probably “learned to drink” from her friends when she arrived at college.

College is, for me, a thing of the not too distant past, and I recall vividly the “peer” education that occurred during that first semester. With high school comfortably behind them, the playing field was, in a strange way, leveled for all students–high school drinkers and non-drinkers were suddenly socializing in the same space. But the social setting looked nothing like that which had been left at home. There was no risk of someone’s parents busting a party, a beer was never too far out of reach, and drinking practices like “tequila circles” (where a handle is passed around and everyone takes a pull) pervaded the campuses my friends and I inhabited.

Whether or not students drank in high school was really irrelevant as college really was a whole different animal. And problems began to present themselves when students inexperienced with most aspects of living away from home began “teaching” their friends how to drink. It was an initiation of sorts, but an initiation by an equally inexperienced initiator. It seems strange, when I consider it, that a parent might spend more time teaching their son or daughter how to do laundry than they do how to drink. Unfortunately, parents are disenfranchised from showing their children how to experience alcohol safely and responsibly. It is not impossible to ruin a load of laundry, but it’s (obviously) incomparable to the dangers that can follow irresponsible alcohol consumption.

[CR]’s proposal supports a drinking license, and it supports parents. Take a moment to read the proposal (found here) and let us know what you think.

Why lower the drinking age now?

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

In the more than two decades that have passed since its implementation, the 21 year-old drinking age has created a climate in which terms like “binge” and “pregame” have come describe young peoples’ choices about alcohol; in which the law is habitually and thoughtlessly ignored by adolescents and adults alike; in which colleges and communities across the nation are plagued with out-of-control parties, property damage, and belligerent drunks; in which emergency rooms and campus health centers are faced with an alarming number of sometimes fatal cases of alcohol poisoning and overdose on weekend nights; and in which the role of parents in teaching responsible behavior around alcohol has been marginalized and the family disenfranchised. Maintaining status quo in America today is not an option.

We are faced with a law that is out of step with our cultural attitudes towards alcohol, one which encourages violation and breeds disrespect. Historically, we know that during the Vietnam War the 26th Amendment in 1971 provided 18 year-olds the right to vote, the age at which one could be drafted to fight in the war. This constitutional recognition of 18 year-olds as consenting adults was fundamental for guaranteeing the right for 18 year-olds to drink. Again, a quarter century later, we are engaged in a war where many of the soldiers currently serving abroad are under the legal drinking age of 21. And while that historical parallel itself does not provide justification for changing the drinking age, it makes strikingly clear the poor logic behind the assumption that at the age of 18 one is too immature to consume alcohol. If the drinking age were lowered, it would signal a transformation in the relationship our society has with its young adults. Besides engendering greater respect for the law, a lower and more easily enforced drinking age would offer alternative choices for parents and college campuses around the country in shaping responsible drinking behaviors and encouraging informed decisions about alcohol use.