Health Unit Wants Spring Breakers To Party Responsibly

Spring Break is in the air, and that means thousands of college and university students are cutting loose.

Parties are the norm for many, and with those parties comes alcohol, for better or worse, it's part of society.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's Melissa Valentik sat down to talk safe-drinking on The Afternoon News with AM800's Patty Handysides.

She says alcohol is the most common drug used by those living in Windsor-Essex County and when it comes to drinking alcohol, drinking less is always best.

"We have these rare special occasions where people want to over-indulge a little bit, but even then we say no more than three drinks for women and four drinks for men on any single occasion," Valentik says. "Anything beyond that is where you're going to have a higher risk of health effects or injury."

Most people know the signs of intoxication, but Valentik says some people may not know how serious drinking to excess can be.

Alcohol poisoning can do more than just make party-goers sick — it can result in a coma, or even death.

"It makes you dizzy, drowsy, for some it can make you feel depressed or violent," says Valentik. "You can also feel sick and vomit, and vomiting can be a sign of alcohol poisoning, which is when your blood alcohol level becomes toxic and that's dangerous."

Valentik says judgement decreases with every drink.

"There's also increased risk of injury when you're drinking," she says. "You have poor coordination and reaction times and you have lower inhibitions to do some risky things that you normally wouldn't do."

Alcohol is consumed by 80% of Canadian adults and in most cases is used occasionally and in moderate amounts.

Heavy drinking is a major risk factor for many chronic health conditions including cirrhosis of the liver, several types of cancer, heart conditions, high blood pressure — it's also a leading cause in automotive deaths.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides