College Students Get Visual Lesson in Alcohol Use

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Some students at Michigan State University were surprised to see adults serving alcohol inside their residence halls.

As part of "National Alcohol Screening Day," MSU's Counseling Center set up tables in residence halls across campus, offering gin, whiskey and wine. But the alcohol wasn't real. It was colored water, offered up as a lesson on responsible drinking.

Many students saw the liquor bottles, and stopped to see what was going on. Inside North Hubbard Hall, Freshman Isabelle Wroblewski couldn't believe it. "I was really caught off guard when I saw open alcohol bottles sitting in the hallway. I'm like what are they doing?"

Counselors manned the table, asking students to pour themselves a drink. Once poured, the amounts were measured against actual serving sizes.

Dr. Talitha Easterly says the liquor bottles are a draw. "It gets them to the table and we have them fill out a short questionaire and that way we can kind of get an idea what drinking behaviors are like on campus and give them some feedback based off of how they scored."

Many of the students were surprised to realize that the amount they considered one drink, was actually 2, or 3, or more. Easterly says, "It's good for students to see that difference because they might think 'Oh, I only had 2 drinks, I don't really know why I'm stumbling. But if their drink is 3 standard drinks based off of their one drink, they technically had 6 drinks."

Freshman Kaitlyn Siporin says she appreciates the lesson. "You always seem to underestimate how much you pour."

There are many resources available for people addicted to alcohol. Call 211 or click on the web links included with this story.