Students may need more beer money in 2007

James Braswell/The Daily Athenaeum

From the open arms that nightclubs have to invite teenagers through their gates, or the beer cans that coat lawns as a mark of pride, it is clear that Morgantown has a drinking problem.

It's time for an intervention.

Alcohol is a drug that interferes with your brain's most abundant form of communication: glutamate. Glutamate is the electricity on which your mind functions and is responsible for almost every cognitive process imaginable.

Alcohol hinders this vital communication by activating inhibitory signaling (GABA-A PAM) and blocking the sites glutamate binds to (NMDA antagonist). By partaking in Friday night's festivities, you are thinning the stream of electricity while constricting the tunnel it can flow through.

However, like pouring water on frayed wires, as soon as your blood alcohol content drops, glutamate runs rampant and causes cell damage through a process called excitotoxicity. Your hangover symptoms are the repercussions of immediate alcohol withdrawal and excitotoxicity.

So what? What effect does this tangibly have?

Well… many, and you don't have to go far to find them.

Studies in humans show consequences in "verbal learning, attention, and visuospatial and memory tasks'', and animal models display "decreases in cognitive flexibility, behavioural inefficiencies, increases in anxiety-like behaviour, disinhibition, elevated risk-taking, augmented later voluntary consumption and motivation for alcohol"(Spear, L. 2018).

75.6% of you are under 25 years old, and if you know anything from your high school health classes, you'll also know that over 3/4ths of this institution’s students’ brains are not fully developed.

The primary reason you are “studying” at WVU is to learn for your future success. Your participation in alcohol is hindering this goal and you are setting yourself up for consequences you can never shake.

Morgantown, your relationship with alcohol is far too casual, it's past time for you to reevaluate your goals.

Jonas Hausmann is a freshman cybersecurity major at WVU. 

Works Cited

Spear, L. Effects of adolescent alcohol consumption on the brain and behaviour. Nat Rev Neurosci 19, 197–214 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn.2018.10