This past week at Bainbridge State College was recognized as “Alcohol Awareness Week.” It was a week set aside to teach students the dangers involved with alcohol.
Throughout the week, activities and programs were scheduled for all students to participate. On Monday, students were given the opportunity to experience the “Save-A-Life” Simulator, which gave them the feeling of being under the influence of alcohol while driving. Distractions were presented to the “driver” showing them how easily an accident can occur when under the influence of alcohol.
Wednesday, an Alcohol Awareness Program was presented by the Decatur County Sherriff’s Department and BSC Counseling Services. Deputy Michael Cox spoke to the students about his years and experience with young people and alcohol.
He said, “I have found that when we have a call on Friday or Saturday night after midnight, chances are that the accident is related to alcohol. Please think about it before you drink. There are too many risks involved. It can happen to you. You should know that not everyone is doing it.”
Cox presented statistics to the college students:
• The rate of drunk driving is highest among 21 to 25 year olds (23.4 percent).
• The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour.
• Only time will sober a person up.
• Teen alcohol use kills 4, 700 people each year. That is more than all illegal drugs combined.
• Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving accident.
• One in four young adults has been in the car with someone while they were drinking and driving.
• Alcohol is the number one choice for young people.
Ronnie Burke, BSC Counselor, informed the students of the assistance the Bainbridge State College Counseling Services can offer if they have a problem with alcohol.
“There is a ripple effect involved with alcohol that goes beyond a hangover,” said Burke. “There are long-term regrets. College students also spend more money on alcohol than they do textbooks. Think of the money that could be saved.”
From a mental health position, Burke presented statistics related to suicide among college students.
He said, “In colleges, two to three percent of college students have reported at least one suicide attempt and also reported using alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant. It will make you happy for a little while and judgment is impaired.”
The BSC Counseling Service encourages students to look for better problem solving ways if they become stressed with college life.
“The people of BSC care what you’re going through. There are people to talk with if there is a problem. Alcohol will hurt, not help,” said Burke.
The program concluded with BSC Officer Brain Lewis demonstrating a routine field sobriety test.
BSC’s Alcohol Awareness Week concluded on Thursday with a Golf Cart DUI Obstacle Course.