By NADIA ALBIZU
From Tuesday, October 14th until Friday, October 17th, Cumberland County College celebrated its Annual Alcohol Awareness Week. This event was designed to teach students about the different effects of drugs and alcohol, and to advise them on what to do to help a family or friend in need. There were different hands-on learning activities all over the campus.
Oksoberfest kicked off with the “F.A.T.A.L Program” Facts about Traffic Accident Loss. The program was shown by Cumberland County’s own Police and Fire Departments and the trauma units. They spoke about the most recent tragic accidents that have occurred in the county and concluded with a special presentation from New Jersey General Assembly incumbent Nelson Albano and his wife Debra. “I always read the Daily Journal about these accidents, but it’s different to see the gruesome pictures and hear the stories behind it all,” said Jillian Torres, a Cumberland County College student, after watching the hour and a half presentation.
The HERO Challenge seemed to be the favorite among Cumberland County College students. In the first step, students had to wear a pair of simulation goggles which sent messages to the brain as if they were intoxicated. A probation officer then gave the students a test instructing them to take their index fingers and touch their noses rapidly, stand on one foot while repeating the process of touching their noses, and finally catch tennis balls being thrown through at them. Students were startled by their reactions. “I was the linebacker for my high school football team and I couldn’t even catch a tennis ball with the goggles,” said Pierre Saint Jean, as he took off the simulation goggles.
The probation officer explained how alcohol affects a person’s brain, reproductive system and appearance. Wearing the goggles sent a message of being under the influence after the consumption of only two or three drinks. Later in the afternoon the students lined up, ready to drive the golf cart while wearing the simulation goggles to see if they could pass the test. Robert Jimenez said, “I’m going to make sure I will never let myself, my family or my friends drive drunk after failing this test.”
The last activity of the week, called SMASHED, was a visual program that explored the three steps of drinking: absorbing, transporting, and changing, as well as the different effects alcohol has on the body short term and long term. In addition, various video clips of the emergency room as doctors and nurses treated injured patients were shown. “It’s great to see CCC bring us such wonderful programs. It teaches us something new and we pass on our information to others as well as seek help for people in need,” said Ashley Colvin about Alcohol Awareness Week 2008.
DID YOU KNOW?
– One in every three suicides involves alcohol.
– Alcohol plays a part in 50% of all arrests.
– 54% of alcoholics have an alcoholic parent.
– The average female college student spends over $150.00 on alcohol per year.
– The average male college student spends over $300.00 on alcohol per year.