Drinking in Moderation Remains Key

Drinking in college has always been considered common and acceptable social behavior. While many consider the consumption of alcohol as a way to have fun with minimal damage, recent findings from Dr. Boris Hansel, a French endocrinologist, have pointed to moderate drinking as correlating with evidences of a healthy lifestyle in comparison to not drinking at all.

Hansel argues that his findings show correlation between moderate drinking, which is defined by one to three servings of alcohol a day, with healthy social behaviors. These behaviors often relate to more healthy cardiovascular systems among other benefits.

According to Anthony Pang, the Alcohol Prevention Coordinator at the UCI Health Education Center, drinking in moderation is alright as long as one maintains a Blood Alcohol Content level of .05.

“Moderation is key for a lot of different things. But with alcohol, depending on what you’re drinking and how much you’re drinking, more does not necessarily equal better,”  Pang said. “In regards to how your body reacts best to alcohol is getting a BAC level of .05. It depends on whether it becomes an addiction or some kind of alcohol dependence grows from regular drinking.  This is a factor that is different from person to person.

“Science does show that brain development is still occurring at [college] age, and anything we do to hinder that can be negative. Even if there are cardiovascular benefits to drinking doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have negative effects on other parts of the body. It’s a bit of a give and take,” Pang said.

Pamela Crouch, Assistant Manager and Bartender at the Anthill Pub, passes down these wise words of advice for students consuming alcohol.

“When I turned 21, I went to a bar in my town, and the bartender told me: ‘This is how you need to drink. Drink in a fashion so that you can drink your entire life,’” Crouch said.
Many students who are of legal drinking age often find themselves frequenting the Anthill Pub and Grill, UCI’s local pub located at the UCI Student Center. Here, students and faculty alike often come to kick back and take a relaxing break from studying, easing the stress of midterm and finals with a cold, frothing glass of beer.

“Our presence on campus has really helped students to learn how to enjoy good beer and really take their time and know what good beer is,” said Crouch. “They come here to enjoy it and not just get drunk off of it.  A lot of people do come here as a study break and have a pint to just chill out before getting back to the books. Others … have their Macbooks and they’re drinking a pint and just working away. I think it has a calming and relaxing factor that helps people, as long as they drink in moderation. If you drink in moderation, then you can drink for the rest of your life.”

“I’m a drinker, I’m not gonna lie,” said Brandon Jackson, a  third-year business economics major and a regular patron at the Anthill pub. “I usually come to the pub every few days or so. You don’t run into many places on different campus where you can have a place like this.”
For Jackson, drinking is best when it is not overdone.

“I think that when it comes to drinking, you can’t go overboard,” Jackson said. “I mean, there are students who think if research says it’s healthy, then why shouldn’t they agree with it? Coming from my standpoint, I would personally have to do more research about it then abiding by what somebody says. It’s one of those findings that come out of the blue and people say its science.”

At the same time, many students at UCI abstain  from the consumption of alcoholic beverages. For Elyssa Goodside, a second-year psychology and social behavior and criminology double major, drinking is not a necessity to have fun.

“Personally I choose not to drink, but I don’t judge if others drink. For me, I prefer being sober. With the effects that alcohol has on my body, I feel that it might be detrimental,” Goodside said. “I’m really hardworking, and I feel that I don’t need to drink to have a good time. I choose to do this because I don’t know my limit and I don’t feel comfortable experimenting with it.”

Goodside feels that the potential health benefits of alcohol are not worth it to persuade her to drink.

“I have heard that they say it might be good to have a drink, but for me, I just choose not to.” Goodside said. “I’d rather be the designated driver and make sure everyone gets back safely then drink myself. Probably the most important thing to me is making sure that if everyone do drink, that they get home okay.”