Alcohol Awareness promotes caution

If the two words resounding in your head this week weren’t “Game Seven,” maybe they were “Homecoming Weekend.” Well, in light of the fact that this weekend marks the end of Alcohol Awareness Week, remember two other words that may describe your week thus far could be “excessive drinking.”

Alcohol is oftentimes the pivotal point of a college student’s leisure activities. Going to a bar to watch the baseball game, attending the Beer Garden before the Homecoming football game and partying at celebrations for all occasions often involve the consumption of alcohol. That is not to say that such actions are to be condemned because of Alcohol Awareness Week. Rather, if alcohol is used responsibly, it can provide an enjoyable environment for people of legal drinking age. Parents and administrative leaders who turn a blind eye to such realities do not make them disappear. Rather, the lack of education for minors about the dangers of alcohol can lead to alcohol-related incidents, and even death.

Getting to and from the bars and from one party location to another presents the situation of having a designated driver. For the most part, Villanova students are mature enough to plan who will be the sober driver of the night, yet that does not mean the drinking should be taken lightly.

Drunk driving is not the only danger that alcohol presents. Alcohol itself is a drug that can provide both short-term and long-term effects; people can become addicted to it, or abuse to a dangerous extent over the course of a night. Even responsible, experienced drinkers can have an unpleasant run-in with alcohol when they drink too much too fast on an empty stomach, an unexpected experience which may lead to sickness or even death.

Consuming alcohol responsibly can often be a pleasant additive to a night. Having a glass of wine with a meal or drinking socially can be a very enjoyable activity. Yet drinking for the sake of getting drunk and passing out is futile. What is the enjoyment of blacking out and losing track of entire spans of time? Where is the satisfaction in excessively drinking to the point of sickness and hangovers? Although telling college students not to drink is not an effective method of stopping them, educating them to the dangers and severity of it is a plausible approach. That is the purpose of Alcohol Awareness Week. At the risk of sounding like a trite beer commercial, if you’re going to drink, be responsible.