Stupid drinking

July 8, 2008

Today’s “Well, duh” headline — “Drinking games prove deadly to college students”:

An Associated Press analysis of federal records found that 157 college-age people, 18 to 23, drank themselves to death from 1999 through 2005, the most recent year for which figures are available. The number of alcohol-poisoning deaths per year nearly doubled over that span, from 18 in 1999 to a peak of 35 in 2005, though the total went up and down from year to year and dipped as low as 14 in 2001.

“There have always been problems with young people and alcohol, but it just seems like they are a little more intense now than they used to be,” said Connie Gores, vice president for student life at Winona State. “The goal of a lot of them is just to get smashed.”

A separate AP analysis found that “victims” (that’s not exactly the word I’d use for people who engage in voluntary behavior) drank themselves well past the point of obivion, with an average blood-alcohol level of .40 (five times Indiana’s legal driving limit). That is some damn stupid drinking. But I still remember (vaguely) what it was like to be young and feel invincible. Most of us have done some damn stupid stuff and are lucky to be here.


4 Responses to “Stupid drinking”

  1. Doug Says:

    I wonder what the 157 represents in terms of the percentage of young people who engage in binge drinking. How does the threat from drinking compare to the threat from other activities of day-to-day life?

    Not that I’m advocating drinking to oblivion as a responsible choice. But, before we start regarding it as a big problem, I’d like to know how it compares to other dangers we choose to live with. (Automobiles, lightning strikes, etc.)

  2. Bob G. Says:

    Man, I sure miss the days of playing drinking games, such as the co-ed version of “Sip and go naked”.

    Beats binging ANY day…lol!


  3. Harl Delos Says:

    But I still remember (vaguely) what it was like to be young and feel invincible.

    I think part of the problem is that it’s no longer legal to drink 3.2% beer between 18 and 21. Kids would pay for their overindulgence by puking their guts out. These days, kids start out with hard liquor, and they do themselves some serious damage.

    Of course, we could tolerate alcohol more easily than modern kids, the wimps. A blood level of 0.40 was only FOUR times the legal driving limit, not FIVE, until recently.

  4. MichaelK Says:

    But, if not for drinking games, who’s going to drink all that nasty Natty Light?

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