Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Sip Tip: Stressed Out Sipping


It's been a hard week and an even worse day with stress pushing hard on your shoulders.  If you choose to drink,  you might think you'll feel better, but a study from the University of Chicago would disagree.  A 2011 study of alcohol and stress found that the stress was only worsened by alcohol use.

The researchers noted that using alcohol to cope with stress will delay the body from coping naturally, which means that the stressed out feelings linger longer than they would without the use of alcohol.  In the other direction, stress effects alcohol use by decreasing the pleasurable benefits of alcohol use and driving a craving for more alcohol to reach a pleasure that won't be attained due to the lingering stress.  This might make it less likely for someone who is stressed out and drinking to stop at buzzed.

If you suspect a friend is stressed out and trying to "drink it away", suggest another activity that could help them process the stress in a healthy way, perhaps going to the gym together or checking out a free concert in the city- something to get them out of the environment that's stressing them out, but still allows their body the time and space it needs to de-stress naturally.  If your friend is set on drinking, try drinking water and offering your friend the same every now and then to keep them safer.  Also, be sure to stay together or stay with your group of friends- a stressed and inebriated person is more likely to fall into riskier situations- stick together and look out for one another as best as you can.

For more about the research at University of Chicago, read on here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715163216.htm.