Kat Chat discusses alcohol use over spring break

Counseling Services' latest Kat Chat was held in Leisure Hall on Tuesday. Abigail Newkirk, graduate student in counseling, and Sammie Hillstock, senior in family studies, both work for Counseling Services. The topic was Staying Safe Over Spring Break: Alcohol 101. Kat Chats are provided by the K-State Counseling Services. (Gabriela Faraone | Collegian Media Group)

Counseling Services resumed its Kat Chat series Tuesday afternoon. in Leasure Hall with a program titled “Staying Safe Over Spring Break: Alcohol 101” to educate students about making safe and responsible decisions regarding alcohol consumption.

Kayla Sloan, senior in social work, and Alexandria Bontrager, senior in microbiology, led the presentation by providing some guidelines for understanding individual alcohol tolerance.

“Binge drinking is considered as consuming more than the recommended amount during a certain period of time, but that amount may vary based off of your background, gender or weight and height,” Sloan said.

Bontrager expanded on the diversity of alcohol tolerance by adding that some may have a higher tolerance of alcohol due factors beyond an individual’s control such as genetics.

Sloan said there are many consequences to heavy drinking, which includes the increased risk of alcoholism, risky sexual behavior, accidents or injuries, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver.

“Some ways to lower the risk of these consequences happening to you could be to have people around that you trust when you’re drinking, don’t drink from coolers or leave your drink unattended and always have a plan beforehand to get home or to a safe place,” Sloan said.

Jean DeDonder, director of alcohol and other drugs at Lafene Health Center, said there are resources available to students to “get over alcohol- and drug-related mental health issues.”

“We’re seeing a more effective change in behavior when mental health is incorporated into mainstream health care,” DeDonder said. “With Counseling Services, Lafene Health Center and even the Office of Student Life merging together, we mean to separate the old mindset that mental health and physical health are separate in relation to drug- and alcohol-related issues.”

The Counseling Services Kat Chat series will resume March 27 at 4 p.m. in Leasure Hall where Eugene Kogosov, Counseling Services’ pre-doctoral intern, will discuss ways to prevent burnout in undergraduate and graduate students.

For more information regarding the treatment of alcohol-related illnesses and mental health problems, make an appointment at Lafene or check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.