Yesterday at around 11:30 pm, after Taraweeh prayer, a miracle happened to a dear friend of mine. He and his 15 year old son both survived death. While driving home with his son a drunk driver hit their car from behind and ran away. The back of the car is pushed to the middle. The crash was so powerful his car was totaled. My friend told me that after the shock he thought he was died; he was unaware of what happened for couple of seconds. Alhamdulilah, both my friend and his son were safe but both were in shock. I had to go with my friend to the ER because he had a painful neck injury. Since this hospital is a university hospital the ER was packed with young drunk college kids. Some of those kids were in the ER because they either were fighting and injured themselves, or not feeling well after drinking, or were in car accidents.
Luckily, the young man who hit my friend was caught driving away within minutes. His car’s air bags were activated and so he could not drive any further. This stupid guy is going to jail and is going to suffer the consequences because he was driving while under influence, he flee an accident he caused, and if he is under 21 then he is considered an underage drinker which is illegal. This kid and those who are alike get drunk on the weekends so on Monday he can brag in front of his friends that he was “wasted.” Among American college kids it is cool to be “wasted.” What he didn’t expect is that instead of being wasted for one night he wasted his future as well. Good for him.
Being among college kids for 8 years I got used to hearing terms such as “Let’s go get drunk” or “I want to get wasted this weekend.” Those kids believe that fun is associated with drinking only. No drinking means no fun.
At the beginning of each semester many college kids celebrate the starting of school by drinking. Since I live on campus I have to see what happens in the weekends or after these parties. I saw girls walking aimlessly barefoot, throwing up in the middle of the streets, and the worst I saw was young women squatting on the road side, on public, releasing themselves. Speaking about self respect. All for the sake of been accepted in the college community by binge drinking which is “drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time.”
Here are very few facts about binge drinking among college students (some bullets from my university website):
About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks [source].
Rape and sexual assault is even more common on college campuses than in the rest of the U.S. population. This is due in part to the use of alcohol by perpetrators as a predatory drug.
1 in 4 women are sexual assaulted during their college years.
91% of adult female rape victims reported that they knew the man who raped them.
Alcohol and other drugs are involved in 55-74% of sexual assaults on campuses.
Couple of year ago I and some friends were on the highway driving two cars. I and my friends in the car noticed that there was a car following our friends’ car. We called them and they confirmed that a woman is driving behind them very fast and she doesn’t want to change lane. They could not slow down because she will hit them and whenever they change lane she followed them. From her driving maneuvering we found she was drunk. It was night and on the highway were you the speed limit was 70 mph (100+ km). It was very scary and dangerous situation. We asked them to drive very fast and change lane quickly so we can block her and we did. Alhamdulilah, everyone went alright but it was very scary experience. Imagine driving at 70 mph near someone who has no control or power to even stand up straight.
I know my university does all kind of surveys to find the number of students drinking alcohol and how often or how much they drink. But I don’t see any progress. Binge drinking is still one life style among college students. Every culture has it is embarrassing behaviors or customs but this behavior is not only degrading to young men and women it is deadly.