By ELIZABETH GREEN
Why does alcohol have such an effect on our population? Is it because we are presented with it everyday? Advertisements lure us in with their cunning words and convincing pictures of these ice cold beverages that seem to bring life to a comparatively dull existence. They are creatively weaved in our regular daily dose of monotonous talk shows and relatable sitcoms. We see our friends take turns guzzling one drink after another every time they cannot get a ping pong ball into a red solo cup on the other end of a table. These so called buddies of ours insist we take drinks with them and if we refuse, it is somehow the biggest slight and the quickest way to make them an enemy. We find someone attractive at a bar and immediately buy them a drink, thinking that after a few mind bending sips, we might be soul mates and start a wonderful relationship together. Alcohol is easily accessible, socially acceptable, and instantly addictive. Yet, a person who goes to the shadiest part of town to score heroin is considered the one on a suicide mission.
Every year, Cumberland County College students participate in Alcohol Awareness Week. This event is meant to enlighten young people and teach them the dangers of alcohol abuse. It tries to combat the media’s perception of alcohol and persuade students to abstain from drinking these “so-called” intoxicating beverages. It is said that every 15 minutes someone dies from an alcohol-related car accident, but what about the astonishing amount of people who die from cirrhosis and cardiovascular disease; both of which are commonly caused by binge drinking? For something as socially acceptable as alcohol, a person has to question how much human beings actually care about each other’s health and mortality rates since, according to The New York Times, alcoholism is said to reduce life expectancy by 10-12 years.
During CCC’s Alcohol Awareness Week, October 14-16, students spoke to real life police officers and EMTs who have seen deaths occur from the result of alcohol abuse. Participants also wore “drunk goggles” and saw what it is like having to actually perform daily tasks like walking and driving while intoxicated. It revealed the affects alcohol has on people both mentally and physically. These activities were offered during the length of the week to ensure that each and every student became knowledgeable of the dangers associated with drinking. Since students generally fall prey to alcohol consumption faster than others because of stress, persuasion, and loneliness; it has become an annual event offered to colleges and universities. Alcohol Awareness Week teaches students to think twice before they consume alcohol.
Photo Courtesy of westyorkshire.police.uk