TU Students Learn Truth About Binge Drinking

Thursday, October 1st 2009, 11:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Binge drinking and drunk driving have increased on college campuses in the past decade. That news from a new federal government study is pretty discouraging to those trying to stop it.

However, the same study says prevention programs can work when colleges and communities join forces.

An Alcohol Conference at the University of Tulsa is an attempt to do just that.

About half of college students admit they binge drink, which is they drink to get drunk. That drinking can lead to terrible consequences: death, injuries, sexual assaults, unsafe sex practices and lower grades.

 But, if you ask those who are getting drunk, they'll tell you it doesn't affect them negatively, especially their driving.  Researchers say there's a big disconnect between how they think they handle their alcohol and how they really do.

"There are a lot of myths out there about how alcohol makes us feel more alive and sexy and capable as an individual, and those are supported by the media but are not supported by research," said Brian Stalcup, Doctoral student.

Stalcup is giving TU college students a little reality lesson.

An event is sponsored by the Panhellenic Council of the University of Tulsa is trying to help college students make better choices and more informed decisions.

"Like it or not, alcohol is really a toxin. The ethanol in alcohol is a poison to our bloodstream and where blood travels in our body is where alcohol travels," Stalcup said.

Research shows campuses with fraternities and sororities often have a larger number of students who drink.

Along with getting some sobering facts, TU students also heard from someone who has been through the terrible ordeal of losing a loved one to a drunk driving crash.

"I talk to groups about drinking because of my brother Jimmy," said Lori Fullbright, News On 6 anchor and crime reporter.

The message is to find another way home, rather than getting behind the wheel drunk or with someone who's been drinking.

College students often believe only alcoholics cause crashes, but research shows it takes very little alcohol to make someone impaired and dangerous.

Research shows campuses can cut down on drinking if they take a community approach. That means police patrols near party hotspots, stopping cheap drink specials at campus bars and more counseling.