An NIAAA publication states that 51% of college students who drink, report they have experienced alcohol blackouts. Dr. Donal Sweeney points out in Chapter 9 of “Cries From The Abyss” that when alcohol blocks memory formation in the hippo campus it leads to unawareness of self and what a person is doing, often resulting in uncharacteristic and bizarre behavior. A person who has blacked-out could wake up in jail charged with causing the death of six people in a head-on collision. They could offer no defense because they have no memory of their actions. If there are no witnesses to aid them, they can only plead no contest or not guilty and leave the decision to the court.
If important elements of blackout phenomenon are to be left un-researched, a great injustice is being imposed upon the 51% of drinking college students in our local area, hundreds of our local older citizens who are social drinkers and experience blackouts and the growing number of underage drinkers. NIAAA reports in Alcohol Alert No. 67 that over 5000 young people under the age of 21 die each year as a result underage drinking. There is no way to know how many of the 5000 were in blackout at the time of their death. Alcohol blackouts are not restricted to alcoholics and binge drinkers. It is important that information be provided to our local college students, our older drinkers and our many local teenage drinkers to allow them to either understand how to drink and avoid blackouts (if they insist on drinking) or to influence their decision to quit drinking alcohol. NIAAA is the organization responsible for providing research and guidance related to alcohol use and abuse.
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