Graduation: Celebrate the diploma without the harmful consequences
Alcohol is one of the most common means of celebration that young adults use during graduation season, but if not consumed in proportion, it can lead to severe accidents.
A 2016 study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that the combination of your personality, genetic history and the environment itself influence your drinking mechanism and how much you will let your guard down. However, there are ways to prevent over indulging, which in severe cases can lead to alcohol poisoning or even death.
“Although many teens partake in the drinking of alcohol, it is unsafe for adolescents, as many deaths occur as a result of alcohol ingestion,” says Dr. Andrea Kane, pediatrician with Advocate Children’s Medical Group in Bloomington, Ill. “Schools and families can help by discussing the dangers of alcohol with impaired judgement, risk to health and dangers of drinking and driving.”
Legal age, moderation and self-control are key when drinking. The researchers mention that young people, especially high schoolers, tend to drink because they want to partake in an activity that may put them in a dicey situation, as it increases risks and gets their adrenaline pumping.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define “moderate alcohol consumption” as consuming up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Based on your size and weight as well as the size of each drink, drinking is not the same for everybody. It is necessary to know your personal limitations and never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking too much to legally drive. And if you are on medication, you should be careful if mixing alcohol into your system.
For graduates age 21 and over, and all drivers, you should not drive any form of motor vehicle if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or more, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parents and graduates alike can refer to this blood alcohol content chart to help understand how much alcohol is just too much. The chart simply serves as a guideline, and you should always try to use good judgement when alcohol is in your body.
If you find yourself in harm due to alcohol, do not hesitate to call 911 or poison control.
About the Author
Kelsey Andeway, health e-news contributor, is a public affairs intern at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She is a senior at Loyola University Chicago earning a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Dance. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys dancing, baking, and taking long walks with her Chocolate Lab.