Drinking is common. Sixty-one percent of people from the ages of 18-25 drink or have drank occasionally in their lifetime. DUI stops result in about 1.4 million arrests every year.
In light of these statistics, alcoholawareness was the topic of an event conducted by the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) on Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Event Center at the Taylorsville campus. SLCC students were informed about the possible alternatives to drinking.
Arin DeCoopman is the president of the club and discussed their goal of the event. “We are here to promote drinking responsibly,” DeCoopman said.
Activities included a survey testing students on their knowledge about when it’s legal to drink and what’s the best way method to cure a hangover. Time was the answer to that question, as Michael Daniel a member of the Peer Action Leaders (P.A.L.s) reported, after giving the survey to students.
In addition fatal vision goggles were given to students to see if they could walk a straight and zigzagged line while having their vision impaired like someone who is drunk. San Del, a student at SLCC, commented on the effectiveness of this activity.
“It’s informative but I think the ‘drunk’ goggles actually increase interest in drinking,” Del said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “in the single year 2005, there were more than 1.6 million hospitalizations and more than 4 million emergency room visits for alcohol-related conditions.”
As an alternative to alcohol, “mocktails,” or nonalcoholic cocktails with fruit, ice cream, and carbonated soft drinks like Sprite, were provided at the event. They serve as healthy option for students to replace the urge of drinking excessively. Students could also take a pamphlet on how to make these mocktails at home.
Tatiana Burton, the club advisor for S.H.A.C. and Supervisor for the Health and Wellness P.A.L.s, helped organize and set up the alcohol awareness event. In addition to educating students to drink responsibly, “we want to educate people on underage drinking and impaired driving when drinking,” Burton said. “There are activities where you can have fun without alcohol.”
Individual help with alcohol and other health related issues can be addressed by Health and Wellness Services, located at both the Taylorsville and South City campuses. By appointment, students can receive medical attention, counseling, health education tips for each problem or concern and even free massages.
The Health and Wellness Student Clinic accepts all SLCC students and employees with or without an appointment. The first visit for a student is free and any additional visits are ten dollars per visit. With these services available, the Health and Wellness Services are students’ closest option for alcohol or other health related issues.
Irene Izana, another member of the P.A.L.s said, “our goal isn’t to stop students from drinking. It’s to help students understand the importance of drinking responsibly.”
Arin DeCoopman, the president of the S.H.A.C., concluded, “if you drink, you have to be responsible. When you drink and drive you affect others beyond yourself.”
For more information on upcoming events through Health and Wellness Services, visit www.slcc.edu/hw.