Excess Booze Causes Much Heartache

We’re in college. You may have already realized that. These four (or maybe more) years are some of the best of our lives, as responsibility hasn’t fully swept in and fun remains the ultimate goal.

That’s where alcohol comes in.

As college students, we accept drinking as a vital part of our social lives, and even as a constituent of our daily lives. For some, it was prominent before arrival at UCSD, and for others, it crept up and surreptitiouslyworked its way into weekly or daily routines.

Alcohol takes root in people’s lives in many different forms. For some, it truly is social and it helps them feel more comfortable in situations and allows them to have more fun. But, I ask, is this really what you want? What does it indicate when someone cannot be outgoing or meet people when acting completely for him- or herself? People should work through their inhibitions, rather than push them aside temporarily by being under the influence.

I’ve seen what alcohol can do to all kinds of relationships. I’ve seen what it can do to lives. People in college take the term “”alcoholic”” lightly; it should not be taken as such. Depending so completely on anything is detrimental to the human spirit. Alcoholics really do lose their lives because of the substance. Alcoholism apparently grows and breeds during the college years. I don’t know what I can say to make those people who drink alone in their rooms for the sake of feeling the effects realize what they do to themselves and others, but I know that I wish there were some way to make them stop.

This year, I received some of the worst news of my life. I was informed that the person I love most in this world was hospitalized for drinking too much. She could have died, the doctors said. Her blood alcohol level was extremely high, especially considering how long ago she’d stopped drinking and how sick she’d been. I didn’t, and still don’t, know what to say to her to make her realize the impact that had on my life. Less than two months later, I had to watch her come near that level again. I saw her too sick to control herself.

This girl is 15 years old. She has a head start on many of the people I watch grapple with the same issue here at school. Maybe the difference for most is the freedom. Once we’re out of the house, we don’t have to deal with returning home drunk to face the wrath of Mom or Dad. But, most likely, the cause of the increase in drinkers is the atmosphere. Drinking is so highly valued at every college. (Well, maybe not at certain ones in Utah, but almost every one.)

I fell prey to that pressure. I don’t regret it, but I do wonder how I allowed my values to change so drastically. I only hope that other people in the position I was three weeks ago stand firm and don’t give in to themselves. (Peer pressure is not what causes most people at this point to start drinking. By the time you’re in college, you’ve refused so many times, that to give in now you must actually make a choice for yourself.)

Why do people indulge in this drug when it has such awful effects at times? I don’t think I’ll ever understand the appeal of drinking so much that you can’t make it to the bathroom to get sick and mess the rug in your suite or the stairs in your apartment. I don’t understand how people rationalize the use of drinking as an escape from their lives, when so many drinkers get depressed while under the influence. It feels worse to cry when you’re drunk because you lack any sort of control.

Control may be the issue. The only time people can control how out of control they are is while drinking. I still don’t understand the appeal of being out of control, even in the slightest. It’s never a good idea to spray shaving cream on walls. Why would a person want to place himself at such a level where he would think it is a good idea?

Alcohol is not an escape. It does not help anyone act more suave or seem more appealing in the long run. It’s addictive and it screws up entire lives, for the people who overconsume it and all the people around them. I’m not saying don’t do it; I know how impossible that is. Just be aware of what it does and does not do.

These are the alleged “”best years of your life.”” You do want to remember them, don’t you?