Drinking Myths Debunked


Disclaimer: Student Caffé does not endorse the underage use of alcohol, but solely aims to provide information about drinking responsibly. The law dictates that it is illegal to drink or possess alcohol if you are under the age of 21. Choosing to drink underage is breaking the law and at your own risk.

A woman pouring alcohol into cup; students should be aware of drinking myths before starting to drink.

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When you dive into the party culture at college, you’ll notice that many students aim to get drunk to blow off steam, no matter the costs. However, some of those costs are pretty steep. Some students, for the sake of a cheap drink, wind up taking unnecessary, dangerous risks. They drink the jungle juice, accept drinks from strangers, and funnel $1 beers.

You can save money and have a good (and safe) time a lot of ways, though. You can grab a 12 pack of Natty Lights for about $10, and you can pregame at a friend’s apartment off campus instead of paying a ton of money at a bar. What you can’t do when you’re trying to have a good time, though, is believe everything you hear. The following are some drinking myths you should know and avoid while planning an epic weekend.

Inserting alcohol directly into the bloodstream will get you drunk faster.

Yes, injecting alcohol intravenously will get you drunk faster. So will vodka-eyeballing (that recent trend that involves pouring a shot of vodka into an open eye), inserting a booze-soaked tampon, and receiving an enema of alcohol. But just because these methods get you drunk faster doesn’t mean that they’re good ideas. In fact, they’re pretty reckless and dangerous behaviors. If alcohol arrives directly into the bloodstream, it doesn’t pass through the stomach first. If it doesn’t go through the stomach, there is no way for your body to rid itself of the alcohol if you consume, inject, or otherwise take too much. Additionally, the contents of your bloodstream eventually reach your brain. This could increase your chances of alcohol poisoning, which could lead to unconsciousness, seizures, and irregular, slow, or stopped breathing. If you or a friend are experiencing any of these signs after drinking, do not hesitate. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

A woman blowing a kiss out of the back window of a police car

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You can get arrested for calling 9-1-1 when a friend is drunk and needs medical assistance.

False (mostly). In many states and on many campuses, you are protected by Good Samaritan laws if you call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency. (These laws do not protect individuals who are distributing or selling drugs or driving under the influence.) There are only 15 states in the country that have not enacted these laws yet. Learn more about your state’s policies here.
 

Snorting alcohol gets you wasted.

Once again, true but very dangerous. Snorting alcohol forces the body to absorb the substance through the nasal membrane. This alcohol, like alcohol that has been injected, directly enters the bloodstream without first passing through the stomach. Another issue here is the nose itself, which is relatively delicate. The Guardian speculates that consistent alcohol-snorting could damage the nasal passage as much as frequent cocaine-snorting.

You can cut the calories if you don’t actually drink it.

The only way to avoid alcohol-related calories is to avoid putting alcohol into your body completely. If you’re thinking of snorting your alcohol, taking eyeball shots, or infusing tampons with vodka as a way to diet while still partying, you should know that you’re still getting calories. What’s in the beverage is in the beverage. Period. Consuming alcohol through a different method does not change the ingredients. Not only are you not cutting calories, but you’re damaging your organs and putting yourself in harm’s way. Just don’t do it.

A woman chugging her wine; thinking that chugging is safe is one of the myths about alcohol

Real Housewives of Atlanta / Giphy

Drinking through a straw will get you more drunk.

False. Drinking through a straw will cut off circulation to your brain because you are creating a vacuum with the straw, thereby not taking in oxygen. You will feel those side effects and it may seem like you’re getting buzzed immediately, but it’s an illusion. In addition, most individuals who follow this myth just want to get drunk. Therefore, on top of drinking through the straw, they drink more of their beverage at a faster pace than they would otherwise.

The best way to get drunk quickly is to chug, chug, chug!

We’ve all heard it chanted at parties, and sure, chugging alcohol will get you drunk. But how drunk? Can you really keep track of your limit when you’re focused on consuming a large amount in a short period of time? Alcohol takes time to enter your system, so when you rush the intake, you could sail way past your limit. Have a good time, but take it slow.

Drinking rubbing alcohol is an accessible and cheap way to get drunk.

There are different forms of alcohol, but that doesn’t mean you should drink household items (e.g., rubbing alcohol, lemon extract, cooking wine, or hand sanitizer) for a wild night unless your idea of fun is a night spent in the emergency room. Rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl alcohol, not the ethyl alcohol in your martini. Isopropyl alcohol is poisonous; consuming too much can kill you.

Stick to safe drinking to have an enjoyable and memorable night with your friends. Keep it simple, and don’t take the risks that these myths pose. If someone suggests you try a new way to get drunk, question it. The risk is not worth the drink.


About Katelyn Brush

Katelyn likes learning, good health, traveling, and pizza on Fridays. Her mixed education, composed of SUNY the College at Brockport, a semester at a community college, and one abroad at the University of Oxford, helped her earn a bachelor’s degree in English. College also gave her a few lessons in Taekwondo and sleeping in a hostel dorm with total strangers. She’s a yoga teacher, author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Signing Together: A Guide to American Sign Language for Everyone.” As a Student Caffé writer, she hopes to help you through the highs and lows of college with a laugh ... or 20.

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