By: Brianna Becker
So what, we drink in college! What is the big deal? I will stop when I am out of college, with a big person job and making all the money in the world!
Do you think it is realistic to completely stop drinking the second you leave college? Do you really think that binge drinking for four years straight doesn’t lead to some dependence on the substance? Do you really think you will magically mature and stop drinking when you hit the ‘real world’?
Alcohol is arguably a drug. It distorts your judgment and rationality while acting as a depressant. We have all heard the stories the night after. So and so did this with this person! So and so fell off this and this happened! So and so passed out at 10PM and missed this! Why is this repeated every weekend? Are you the ‘so and so’ that everyone is talking about?
Drugs are addictive, alcohol is addictive; drugs are illegal, alcohol is legal (to an extent). Does the fact that alcohol is legal, make it any better? What if employers started doing alcohol tests much like drug tests, would this affect you?
Some UK employers are already doing this. The reason behind the new test is that those employees that fail are more of a risk. They will most likely have more alcohol-related harm and sickness costs. These people may have more sick days and may have a more complicated home and social life that affects work performance. In 2010, 6,669 deaths were directly related to alcohol. Now relate these numbers to the workforce and understand that this entails a replacement cost of training a new employee. Also consider if the company you work for is constantly dishing out money to people’s alcohol related problems and thus taking away a possibility of future benefits for you.
We have stressed the facts of what drinking does to your body and health. But, your drinking habits affect the people around you too, directly or indirectly. In addition, it is arguable that a habit forms in 21 days. Your ‘binge drinking’ may have turned into alcoholism and you may not even realize it. If you have a dependence or need to be drunk at a party, you may have an alcohol dependency.
During college you are supposed to be mapping out your future, bettering yourself for the ‘real world’, and setting yourself apart from the rest. During this process, I am sure you did not take into consideration where alcohol stands. It is fine to drink on occasion and to have a good time. As long as one is aware of the risks and impacts in may have on the future, you should be fine. Ask the questions and be honest with yourself. College is meant to be fun but remember why you are here. Drink responsibly; know the facts.
Foundation For A Drug Free World. (n.d.) What is Alcohol?. Retrieved November 8, 2013, from, http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol.html
Matthews, J. (n.d.). Alcohol Testing Should Take Place At Work. Retrieved November 8, 2013, from, (http://news.sky.com/story/1165570/alcohol-testing-should-take-place-at-work
Image Source: Luschek, M. (2011, March 15). Workplace Drinking Making a Comeback. Retrieved November 8, 2013, from, http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Workplace-Drinking-Making-a-Comeback-117977404.html