Northwest Missourian Opinion

I don’t like getting drunk selfies from my best friend at 1 a.m. before Halloween.

I understand that Halloween is a popular time for parties, which come with alcohol, but Halloween should be about putting on a costume and giving out candy, not doing shots of vodka.

With Halloween Wednesday, people use it as an excuse to drink more than usual. It’s such a special occasion that just can’t wait for the weekend.

It’s ridiculous students had to be reminded that they’d be removed from the dance show if they attended any tech rehearsal while intoxicated. I thought that’d be common sense.

Then again, alcohol prevents clear thinking.

Alcohol is correlated to poor academic performance, according to a study done by the Science Publishing Group. Time spent drinking at parties takes time away from studying and completing homework.

According to a national survey by The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one in four students reported academic consequences such as missing class and doing poorly on exams.

Drinking alcohol also creates unnecessary risks. The NIAAA estimates 696,000 students are assaulted by another student who has been drinking, 97,000 students experience alcohol-related sexual assault and 1,825 students die from alcohol-related injuries each year.

University administrators know students will still choose to drink alcohol, so they emphasize resources such as the Safe Ride Home program. Various organizations like Students Activities Council plan different late night events to encourage students to have fun without alcohol.

Despite many lessons about the dangers of alcohol, people choose to drink. According to NIAAA, 60 percent of students ages 18-22 said they drank alcohol in the last month and 20 percent meet the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder.

Regardless of how often a person drinks, his or her alcohol intake can become problematic quickly. The more students drink, the more dependent on alcohol they become. Symptoms of an AUD include an uncontrollable urge to drink, heavily negative thoughts without alcohol and having to drink to be social.

Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, which leads to changes in mood and behavior. It also weakens a person’s immune system, making them more susceptible to illness which can further inhibit academic success.

According to the Stepping Stone Center for Recovery, the brain isn’t done developing until age 25. Alcohol is harmful regardless of age, but greater damage will be done to a person’s brain when they are younger.

People say drinking is a fun time, but I’d rather enjoy myself with all of my sanity. I don’t even want to risk becoming dependent on a toxic substance for happiness.

Halloween is over, but alcohol will always be at parties. Drinking alcohol may feel good in the moment, but don’t be tricked into thinking that it is a treat.

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