A drink containing ethanol is considered an alcoholic beverage. Alcoholic beverages are often categorized as beer, wine or hard liquor (or spirits). Alcohol is also categorized as a psychoactive drug seen as a gateway to other drugs.
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(Personal story writtten by a teenage college student)
The autumn season is one that I look forward to every year. It brings along a new school year, new friends, and of course, new opportunities. This particular autumn season brought immense changes that were not all expected. Being brand new to college life, experiencing time away from home and gaining various new freedoms is exactly what many 18-year-old students cannot wait for. I was certainly not the exception to any of this. It was my first actual “college weekend” and I couldn’t wait to experience all that I could. I knew there could potentially be consequences for my actions, but, feeling invincible like many teenagers do, I was
not going to let a hypothetical “slap on the wrist” stop me.
My friends and I were able to acquire alcohol for the weekend. We did not think we were doing anything different than any other college freshman on campus, by engaging in a little rebellious behavior. Our plan for the night was to “pre-game” in a friend’s
dorm room before we went out to various house parties off campus. Everything was going as planned until there was a knock at my friend’s dorm room door.
The RA (resident assistant) on duty came by to give us a noise complaint due to the blaring music coming from the area. She said she heard bottles clanking while she was waiting at the door, and now had to search the room. When she found our alcohol, she contacted the campus police. The police came
and ticketed the university students in the dorm, myself being one of them. At the time, we did not fully know what was going to come next. One of the young people in the room was under the age of 18, so we potentially could have been charged with furnishing alcohol to minors to accompany our first-degree
misdemeanor of underage possession and consumption of alcohol. If we had not been on university property, we would have been arrested, handcuffed, and spent the night in a cold, gloomy jail cell.
My friends and I had to appear in court that week where we had to plead guilty to the M1 charges being filed against us. I thank God that the county my university is located in has an alternative program to first-time offenders of the law. This program serves as a substitute to the maximum punishment of 60 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
My friends and I were enrolled in a diversion program for the next six months. We had to participate in 16 hours of community service, attend drug and alcohol classes, a counseling session, and pay a rather large fine. As long as we did not have a similar offense in the months to follow, we were
able to file to have our records expunged. However, if we would have had a similar offense within the six-month time period, my friends and I would have been convicted on both offenses, and the maximum penalty would have become a reality.
Looking back on this experience, and on the influence it had on my life, reminds me to truly be thankful for each and every day, and the morals and values I was instilled with from my youth. Although the sting of “getting caught” put me in a sunken mood for a period of time, I knew where to turn to overcome it. I was brought up as an Orthodox Christian. I learned the importance of confessing my sins and making God the center of my decision making process. I firmly believe that this incident prevented me from doing something that could have had an even stronger negative impact on my life, and the lives around me.
When I informed my parish priest of the trouble I had encountered, he told me, “God is with you and your faith is strong, the bitterness that temptation brings will only remain bitter if we return to it, but it will become sweet if we overcome and defeat those temptations with the help of Christ.” I made his advice my ambition. I used the opportunity to not only turn around my current dilemma, but every situation I face, over to Christ. I acknowledged my inner strength, and corrected my fall.
The actions that I partook during that particular autumn evening are certainly ones that I regret, but they are actions from which I have learned a great deal. I hope that my story will help teenagers in similar circumstances to correct their stumble before it turns into a fall.
“If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one
walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” (John 11:9-10)
For more information about Alcohol and Peer Pressure:
Reprinted from the CDC site: Vital Signs
One in six U.S. adults binge drink about four times a month, and on average the largest number of drinks consumed is eight. Find out what your community can do to prevent binge drinking.
New estimates show that binge drinking is a bigger problem than previously thought. More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink, about 4 times a month, and on average the largest number of drinks consumed is eight. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over a short period of time.
As reported in Vital Signs, the CDC found that those who were thought less likely to binge drink actually engage in this behavior more often and consume more drinks when they do. While binge drinking is more common among young adults aged 18–34 years, binge drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking more often—an average of five to six times a month. Similarly, while binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, the largest number of drinks consumed on an occasion is significantly higher among binge drinkers with household incomes less than $25,000—an average of eight to nine drinks per occasion, far beyond the amount thought to induce intoxication.
Adult binge drinking is most common in the Midwest, New England, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and Hawaii. On average, however, the number of drinks consumed when binge drinking is highest in the Midwest and southern Mountain states (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah), and in some states— such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina—where binge drinking was less common.
Binge drinking is a dangerous and costly public health problem.
It is important to consider the amount people drink when they binge and how often they do so.
Most alcohol-impaired drivers binge drink.
Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent or alcoholics.
More than half of the alcohol adults drink is while binge drinking.
More than 90% of the alcohol youth drink is while binge drinking.
Binge drinking costs everyone.
- Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes more than 80,000 deaths in the United States each year.
- Drinking too much, including binge drinking, cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006, or $1.90 a drink, from losses in productivity, health care, crime, and other expenses.
- Binge drinking cost federal, state, and local governments about 62 cents per drink in 2006, while federal and state income from taxes on alcohol totaled only about 12 cents per drink.
- Drinking too much contributes to more than 54 different injuries and diseases, including car crashes, violence, and sexually transmitted diseases. Over time, binge drinking also can lead to liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and many other chronic health problems.
- The chance of getting sick and dying from alcohol problems increases significantly for those who binge drink more often and drink more when they do.
What you can do.
- Choose not to binge drink and help others not do it.
- Follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines on alcohol consumption; if you choose to drink, do so in moderation— no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Pregnant women and underage youth should not drink alcohol.
- Support effective community strategies to prevent binge drinking, such as those recommended by the Community Guide.
- Support local control over the marketing and sale of alcoholic beverages.
- Support the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years.
Ask questions at:
OCCHY Executive Director