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College Graduation Parties: Will the Graduates Remember the Big Day?

by  on  News

College students have been drinking alcohol for probably as long as there have been colleges. Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney knows that there is nothing new about that, or about college graduates showing up hungover–or maybe even still drunk–for their graduation ceremonies. So what is new? Kids using energy drinks as mixers so they can stay awake longer and keep drinking longer. A historically high number of students on anti-depressants and other psychiatric medications that can have lethal consequences when mixed with alcohol, especially large amounts of alcohol. Social media capturing students at their worst, most embarrassing moments, doing things they will regret, cannot remember, and that future employer may ask them to explain…or not even give them the chance to do so.

     Included in the list of what is new is binge drinking, the dangerous practice on so many college campuses of consuming large quantities of alcohol to the point where students are falling down, passing out drunk. But your Denver Personal Injury Attorney points out that before they fall down or pass out, many binge drinkers commit acts of violence, drive under the influence, damage property, or hurt themselves. The statistics are shocking: 3 million students drive while drunk; 1,850 students die due to alcohol, including car crashes and suicides; 600,000 students are injured while under the influence; and 700,000 students are assaulted by someone who is under the influence (all statistics on an annual basis).

     Binge drinking has become so prevalent on college campuses–it is estimated that 40% of college students engage in this dangerous behavior–that a proposed change is being considered to the psychiatric profession’s diagnostic manual, DSM-5, for “alcohol abuse disorder.” Proponents of the change argue that if the word “drugs” were substituted for alcohol–even prescription drugs, given the enormity of the damage caused as shown by the statistics above, no one would argue with classifying the behavior that causes this kind of violence and destruction a disorder. In keeping with all the attention currently being given to sexual assaults and rapes on college campuses, your Denver Personal Injury Attorney includes another shocking statistic: alcohol is involved in 90% of all campus rapes, with either the victim and/or the rapist being intoxicated, and in some cases, the victim being too drunk to legally consent. 

     YOLO. You Only Live Once. Many kids between the ages of 18—22 use this line and philosophy to excuse their reckless behavior, implying that they will only be young once, so live in the moment. New studies show that binge drinking and “living in the moment” may be linked: if you drink copious amount of alcohol, you may not be able to remember anything but the moment you are in currently. Scientists now believe that the brain is not fully developed until the mid-20s; therefore, binge drinking in college can permanently damage the still-developing brain, especially the part responsible for memory. Blackouts and an inability to remember what you did the night before are not funny; they are signs of memory loss and brain damage due to alcohol abuse.