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‘My Friend Fell Down the Stairs’: Dispelling Myths About Alcohol By Melissa Simmons, Graduate Assistant, NLU Office of Student Experience

One of the most common misconceptions about alcohol consumption among college students is thinking they can still be in charge of their actions once intoxicated.

SparkingWineA few years ago Beyonce and Jay Z visited Soldier Field during the summer for a stop on their “On the Run” tour.  A friend and I scored awesome seats and planned to have a couple pre-concert cocktails before heading to the show. When I arrived she was still getting dressed and never got the chance to make a drink before the Uber driver arrived. Instead, she decided to fill up a water bottle with vodka and take it in the cab with us. After downing about three quarters of the standard 12-ounce bottle during the 20-minute ride, we arrived at Soldier Field and got our tickets scanned into the venue.

On our way to find our seats, my friend’s bodily functions shut down. She was no longer able to walk or even stand still on her own. The ushers standing nearby warned us that she would be asked to leave if she didn’t sober up. In efforts to help her become more conscious, we headed to the concession for some food and water. As I was ordering, she wandered off towards the exit, tripped over her step and fell down an entire staircase, resulting in a concussion. She was taken out of the venue in an ambulance before the hottest concert of the summer even started. She woke up in a hospital bed connected to machines and had no recollection of anything that happened. That day we learned that alcohol myths were just that, MYTHS.

ALCOHOL MYTH #1 “I can drink and still be in control.” Drinking impairs your judgement and increases the chances of doing something you might regret later.

ALCOHOL MYTH #2 Drinking isn’t all that dangerous. One in three young adults is admitted to emergency rooms for alcohol intoxication.

ALCOHOL MYTH #3 I can sober up quickly if I have to. It takes about 3 hours to eliminate the alcohol content of two drinks. Cold showers and coffee don’t speed up the sobering process.

EmergencySince 2014 there has been a rising epidemic of opioid—heroin and prescription pills— overdoses in the Chicago area. People who misuse prescription pain killers are 40% more likely to become addicted to heroin that those who don’t, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, it is never too late to seek help. The Office of Student Experience is committed to educating its students on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse while providing a safe and drug-free environment. Visit these sites for more information on access to substance prevention tips and resources.