Everyone's impacted by drinking - whether we are holding a glass or not - and college students are a large demographic that struggle with excessive drinking. The negative effects that alcohol can have on a person's DNA are raising concerns among health professionals.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that four out of five college students between ages 18 and 24 drink alcohol. Roughly 25 percent of those students cited academic consequences, including missing class, falling behind, and lower grades, from their drinking.
Being heavily exposed to alcohol can have chronic repercussions. In research conducted by the medical journal Alcohol, participants who consumed alcohol had 5.3 times more damage to DNA cells than students in the alcohol-free control group.
DNA damage from too much alcohol is a problem that begins at a young age. As we've flipped the calendar to 2014, it's a good time to refresh your alcohol consumption habits.
PsychCentral released safe drinking habits that can help set long-term, personal boundaries that will ensure your brain is damage-free.
First of all, just say no! Resisting the pressure to drink reduces risk for everyone. Alcohol is not a necessary ingredient.
Always designate a driver. Drinking and driving is never an option.
Also, decide your drink limit and stick to it. Never drink more than you know you can handle.
Lastly, remember that alcohol is a complement, not the purpose. Drinking is as much of a choice as it is a responsibility.
Keep your brain cells by establishing safe, responsible drinking habits for yourself and those around you.
Katy Schulz is a senior journalism student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.