Time for Prohibition?

This has been my experience, too.  It’s the testimony of a cop in a college town, re: reported vs. prosecuted sexual assaults.

People who are removed from the social scene of young adults today can’t really comprehend how out of control alcohol abuse is among college students and other young people looking to party….these kids today don’t want to just drink to get buzzed and have a good time. They drink with the goal of a black out.

Yup.  I lived in a college town until just recently, and I’ve been in undergrad bars during prime hookup hours.  A good number of these kids — maybe half, maybe more — deliberately set out to get puking, shitfaced, blackout drunk.  Of them, at least a quarter are nearing that stage when they arrive at the bar.

So by last call, they’ve had anywhere from five to God only knows how many drinks in about a four hour period. In a 115 pound sorority sister, that’s a hell of a lot of alcohol.

You’ve never seen drunk like sorority-sister drunk.  Or you have, and know this is the truth.  I’ve seen girls down amounts of booze that would’ve hospitalized me, and I’m a big guy who came up in an industry where the ability to hold liquor was practically a job requirement.  Vodka Sam isn’t the norm at undergrad bars… but she’s not so far off the norm, either.

Oh, and did I mention how many of them are on medications that are contraindicated for alcohol? Given our pill-popping culture in general, I’ll just round up and say that all of them are. Especially mood altering medications and most especially Ambien.

Ambien, my God, the Ambien. Maybe it’s a regional thing, but sometimes it seems like they get it given to them like candy around here. Ambien, of course, intensifies the effects of alcohol, yet these kids pop their daily prescribed dose before or during the pregame, effectively “roofieing” themselves before they even leave the house.

Can confirm.  I once made the mistake of having a drink on Ambien.  One drink.  As I am an adult, I was prescribed Ambien because I couldn’t sleep, to the point where I was doing stuff like leaving the burner on my coffee pot running all day because I’d turned it on without actually putting any water in there.  So when I went to meet a friend who was having a rough time for a drink, I forgot I’d taken the damn thing.  The rest of the evening is a complete and utter blank.  Evidently I helped my buddy, as he told me all about our conversation, stopping for a snack, hanging out at my place, watching tv…. all of which never made it into my memory.  It was fucking terrifying.

Now, this self-intoxication by the victims does not excuse rape. But what gets reported to us isn’t “rape- rape” most of the time.

What gets reported is “Well, me and my girlfriends met at Lisa’s apartment to pre- game. I had a beer and a shot there. Then we went to This Bar and That Bar and I had three shots at the first place and an Appletini at the second place plus this guy gave me half his beer. So, we were dancing and then Lisa and Cindy left. So the guy who gave me half his beer said we should go to This Other Bar to meet his friend and we did. And I had two shots and then he bought me this mixed drink… I don’t remember what it was called or what was in it. And then I had another beer and we danced and I remember we were making out at one point in the bathroom and I gave him a blow job. Then I remember we left This Other bar-”

Needle scratch. Wait a minute. You gave him oral sex?

“Well, yeah…”

Can confirm.  I personally wasn’t on either end of it, but I’ve seen it — more than once — and heard about it dozens of times.  You’d be amazed what drunk kids talk about with complete strangers while you’re having a late-night snack, or when you’re the early bird in the coffee shop and they walk in with sledgehammer hangovers.

Years ago I took a class on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. One of the illustrations that the instructor used was that of the “Triangle of Crime.” In order to have a crime, you need three things: A Criminal, a Victim, and a Place for the crime to happen. Eliminate any one of those pieces and no crime occurs.

Eliminate the binge drinking and hook- up cultures that a vast, vast majority of reported sexual assault victims willingly participate in, and you would eliminate practically all reported sexual assaults in this country. Eighty percent of them at least would disappear because you would eliminate the victim side of the crime triangle.

Need we say more?

I used to say I enjoy a drink as much as the next man, and maybe I do…. if the next man is a responsible adult.  Whatever these students are, they’re not responsible adults.  Prohibition?  I’m against it in principle, but I can’t see how a society that makes children ride in car seats practically into their teens could possibly justify letting this kind of thing happen night after night, in pretty much every college town in America.

Something to think about, anyway.

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2 thoughts on “Time for Prohibition?

  1. Gary

    A good number of these kids — maybe half, maybe more — deliberately set out to get puking, shitfaced, blackout drunk.

    My initial reaction to this was a touch of sadness.* What’s going on in a person’s life where his idea of fun is to blot out consciousness for a few hours? Sounds like a short-term release from pain, boredom or the sense of aimless futility of trying to build one’s character on the swampy foundation of relativism amid the bullying dictates of political correctness — the toxic, contradictory stew force-fed to young students by most colleges and universities.

    Or maybe it’s just a bunch of incredibly spoiled brats, pampered and praised for their entire lives by helicopter parents, who cannot handle the realization that they’re not the most special-ist snowflake of all and that the world doesn’t bend over backwards to accommodate their every desire.

    Way back in the day when I was in college, there was plenty of indulging in intoxicants (less drinking, more drugging), but only a small fraction of this led to blotto, black-out unconsciousness. Well, at least it was nowhere near 50%.

    * Because I’m thinking about this in the abstract, not regularly dealing with incoherent, obnoxious, fall-down drunks. Then the sadness promptly evaporates and is replaced by revulsion and anger.

  2. nightfly

    This is where it really comes in handy to have a cultural standard to reinforce what parents traditionally taught kids. There was a time your own peer group would look upon you poorly if you continually got piss-pants wasted, even once… not take to social media to brag about it.

    My RA in those days was a guy who’d gone to school on the GI Bill, so he was older than us. He was also fond of saying that his only accomplishment while in the service was to consume beer on three continents. Given this CV, I’m inclined to believe him, and one other thing he would say is that, if you’re still functional when your BAC would lead the American League in hitting, you’ve had some practice.

    If I looked up “reap the whirlwind” in the dictionary, this would be the sorts of examples we’d see.

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