Alcohol Awareness Week teaches students consequences of alcohol misuse

As part of Alcohol Awareness Week, paramedics, firefighters and volunteers reenacted a DUI car accident to show students what really happens during such a traumatic event.

“Being on the stretcher felt very real. Looking up at the IV and the lights is a very scary feeling,” said Jeff Malen, a student volunteer during the the accident re-enactment.

Ronny Garcia, a paramedic, gave students a graphic explanation of the procedure for saving a trauma alert patient. He also showed students some of the equipment used to save trauma alert patients.

Garcia stressed the importance of wearing a seat belt because many spinal injuries are a result of car accidents.

“I would rather help young people here than [in an accident] out on the street,” Garcia said.

The week, sponsored by Pier 21 and Bacchus, has been promoting alcohol awareness for nearly fifteen years. The organizations host events during the week to educate students on the facts about alcohol use.

One drink is equivalent to one 5 oz. glass of wine, one 1.5 oz. shot of hard liquor, or one 12 oz. beer. Behavior varies as one’s blood alcohol level [BAL.] rises.

A .05 BAL. will cause one to feel warm and relaxed. At .10 an individual is considered legally drunk in Florida. At .25 one becomes emotionally and physically numb, and at .40 one may suffer from a coma and risk his or her life.

A common misconception is that alcohol will kill 10,000 brain cells every time one drinks. Although this is not necessarily true, in the long-term, chronic drinking can cause permanent memory loss and brain damage. According to the American Council for Drug Education, almost 70 percent of people in treatment for alcohol-related problems suffer severe impairment of memory formation, abstract thinking, problem solving and ability to concentrate.

The movie 28 Days, starring Sandra Bullock, played on Oct. 19 at the UC Lounge as another event for Alcohol Awareness Week.

“It [alcohol] is against my beliefs and it is an unhealthy drug that causes people to lose control, and I want to be in control, always,” said Arzu Yenibarak, a graduate student. “28 Days is an inspiring movie for anyone who is committed to getting over an addiction or problem of any kind.”

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