Welcome to fall semester. Football season. That means tailgates, kegs and eggs, and any other excuse we find to party from sunrise past sundown. Why not? We’re young, wild, free — all that Wiz Khalifa shit.
It’s hard to toe the line between typical college antics and dangerous levels of inebriety. It’s especially hard if you’ve only recently gained full control over your day-to-day lives and don’t have much prior experience with drugs and alcohol — looking at you, freshmen. Getting wasted is oddly acceptable in general (we grew up watching “Jersey Shore” after all), but college especially is portrayed in media as the most wild time of your life, when getting fucked up is a rite of passage. Media aren’t the only culprits; geography plays a role as well.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Montana is the fourth-drunkest state in America with the second-highest number of deaths related to drunk driving. Within Montana, Missoula is the drunkest city — take that, Bobcats. I drink more than the average American, but less than the average Missoulian. As I get older, I’m realizing that my liver doesn’t care where I live, nor about our cultural practices.
And it’s not as if drinking is all we do. Missoula is known for its drug culture even more than it is for alcohol consumption. As a hippie town, it’s not uncommon to smell weed from random cars and houses on a daily basis. For the most part, weed is a responsible alternative to binge drinking. You don’t hear about someone getting so stoned they get their stomach pumped, or, say, die. If you’re going to overindulge in any substance during your tenure at college, I implore you to choose pot.
Still, weed is notoriously demotivating. College students are solely responsible for our own success, and finding the will to get to class doesn’t get any easier after a wakeand-bake. As for other drugs, my best advice is to stick to what you can identify while looking at them (i.e. weed or mushrooms). Taking molly is all fun and games until you realize it’s half meth and half baking soda. No, I’m not including prescription drugs in the “identifiable” category because, you know, the opiate crisis.
No matter what you’re experimenting with, there are a few basic guidelines that tip you off if you’re developing a problem. Do you stay home or avoid socializing in order to imbibe alone? Do you often forget what you did the night before and cringe when your friends give you the recap? Are you getting fewer invitations to parties because you suck when you’re wasted? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you aren’t trash and you don’t necessarily have to get immediately sober. You may want to talk to someone, however, to help navigate this complicated part of our lives.
Lucky for us, Curry has dope counselors (pun intended) who can be reached with or without an appointment. If you don’t feel like you’re at your best — be it due to partying or any other reason — hit them up. You won’t regret it.
Call Curry Health Center at (406) 243-2290 or make an appointment online through your student health portal.