Alcohol 101 for college students

So you are at a party this week and all set for a ‘good’ time or as they say ‘Let the good times roll’. People drinking it up and having a good time. All mature adults, but do you know enough about alcohol?? Before you begin to think of this article as another lecture about drinking, let me assure you it is not!!

Alcohol 101: Some Basics

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is often thought of as a stimulant, because it lowers inhibitions, which may mean that you take chances you wouldn’t otherwise take. However, alcohol actually acts as a depressant on your central nervous system, slowing down brain functioning. There are two kinds of alcohol in common use. Ethyl alcohol is the kind present in beer, wine, spirits and liqueurs. Methyl alcohol is completely different and is found in solvents, paint removers, antifreeze and other household and industrial products. It is a poison and should never be consumed.

Short term effects

A common effect of drinking alcohol is a sense of well-being. This feeling could be accompanied by drowsiness, dizziness and flushing.When a person drinks too much, they often wake up with a hangover. A hangover is actually alcohol withdrawal. Beginning eight to 12 hours after you stop drinking, a headache accompanied by shakiness and nausea may also result.

Men and women

I am pretty sure most of you heard and probably have seen women get drunk faster than men and this is actually a true fact. Even if the woman is at the same weight as a man, women metabolize alcohol at a slower rate. A woman’s body also contains less water than a man’s. Therefore, alcohol is diluted less in a woman’s body. Also, while men can metabolize about one drink/hr, women may take upto two hours.

Miracle Cures

Again, people who got trashed/wasted have all experimented with these miracle cures. Even the medical industry is in on this one, churning out ‘magic pills’ like say Gravol or eating toasted bread to drinking coffee or drinking gatorade. However, once alcohol is in the body, trust me, it is there to party. Gravol could only end up in lowering the body’s natural defences against alcohol. Giving a person a cold shower will only result in a wet drunk – not to mention smaller problems for men. Then there is the all time favourite of giving a drunk person some coffee. Guess what? Now you end up with a nice and lively drunk. Eating food and drinking water/gatorade may stop dehydration but only time will sober you up.

Okay enough about the basics… Coming back to the party you are at or going to be at, if you asked people around about their opinion on alcohol, there would be varying opinions. However, it wouldn’t be very hard to tell these people apart. They are either passed out, laughing at those passed out, or disgustingly carrying those who passed out – I’ll let you decide which groups held which opinions. On college campuses, its all about peer pressure.The end point being that everyone has the right to make their own decisions within reasonable limits. Besides, wouldn’t the world be boring if we were all the same?