Talk Show Episode #2: FASD and the Responsibility of Men

Better Safe Than Sorry – Alcohol and Unprotected Sex Don’t Mix… during our second filming we focus on the responsibility of men when it comes to alcohol use and contraception. Being safe is the responsibility of both men AND women. Our guest Nick Bruni is providing us with insights on the male point of view.

Watch us on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro8DjNX8vSY&feature=youtu.be

The male responsibility in dating: “If a girl is inebriated, YOU AS A GUY should NOT approach that girl and take her home. Find her friends and let them know that their friend is “blacked out”. As good samaritans they should take her home to avoid the chances of her getting taken advantage of.”

Talking about FASD and the responsibility of men brought us back to the recently uploaded blog post “A fathers fight for appropriate diagnosis and treatment” about Charlie Sheen advocating to have his twin sons evaluated for Fetal Alcohol Syndrom. A father and a mother have the same responsibility for the well being of their children. Raising children is a partnership, both should be an advocate for the best interest of their children. So what makes Brooke Mueller refuse having the twins evaluated? Our guess since they are a profile couple, she might be afraid of her image as well as being afraid that she is not going to retain custody as a result of their ongoing divorce. But also there is another important point: the female’s guilt… that she was the one drinking and either knowingly or unknowingly causing brain damage to the developing fetus. But hold on…isn’t that the man’s problem as well?! HE COULD HAVE USED CONTRACEPTION OR ENCOURAGED HER TO STAY ABSTINENT WHEN PLANNING A PREGNANCY! 

Think about it, if he is drinking, isn’t it more likely that she is drinking as well? The Washington Post published an interesting advice column “It’s not fair for my husband to drink while I am pregnant”

Why do we let “our social drug of choice” harm our future generation?

Kick Off For The “Better Safe Than Sorry – Alcohol and Unprotected Sex Don’t Mix!” Talk Show

We are delighted to introduce you to the “Better Safe Than Sorry – Alcohol and Unprotected Sex Don’t Mix!” talk show – our newest blog addition. Our talk show is hosted by Dr. Susan Rich, a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Dr. Rich moderates a young adult “coffee table” discussion about alcohol use and problems caused by alcohol exposure in the womb.
Watch our first episode on our BSTS YouTube channel : http://youtu.be/ymF_JV5Q9Uk
Each week we invite different guests to discuss recent postings on our blogwww.bettersafethansorryproject.wordpress.com. Our first session focuses on the high prevalence rates of drinking on college campuses and the potential for FASD in babies exposed inadvertently during unprotected sex.
Dr. Rich is joined by her team of “change agents”:
Daniele Mielke, a 25 year old graduate of a social work degree from Germany, currently looking to attend George Washington University’s graduate program in forensic psychology.
Sarah Roberts, a 23 year old recent graduate of UMBC’s department of psychology, also with an interest in attending graduate school in psychology.
Juliana Pietri, a 20 year old rising junior at Loyola University in New Orleans studying criminal justice, with an interest in forensic psychology.
Sydnie Butin, a 20 year old rising junior at Salisbury University studying psychology with an interest in graduate school as well.
Carlye Hillman, an 18 year old rising freshman at High Point University with an interest in psychology and pre-med.
Remember – if you are sexually active and using alcohol – contracept (i.e., avoid pregnancy!).  If you are pregnant, could be, or planning to be – avoid alcohol

Safety Tip #2: Be Safe. Learn Self-Defense

This self-defense video is “empowering women with options.” Before attending college, it is important for women to learn some tools to defend themselves from an attacker. We all like to believe that we are going to be safe walking across campus or partying with friends, but that’s not the case. Things happen. You can be robbed, beaten, raped, or even killed. Don’t wait until it is too late.

Debi Steven demonstrates the do’s and don’ts in common attack scenarios. The video also features a “multifunctional personal safety aid” called the Weeble. It’s a compact key fob which can be used physically defend yourself. In the case of a drug related attack, the Weeble can also store 14 mL of urine for evidence.

– Sarah Roberts

Safety Tip # 3: Know Your Limit. We Are Not All EQUAL

We all know not only from biology class that women’s bodies are different from men’s.

First of all on average women way less than men. But that is not the only important difference.

Let’s take a closure look at the differences in metabolism of alcohol:

Females have less “alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme” in their stomachs, an enzyme your body needs to break down the alcohol you consume. Which is why women can only drink half of what a male can drink over the same amount of time. Leading to the conclusion that women face higher risks of alcohol poisoning while attempting to keep up with their male peers.

Your brain can only tolerate a certain amount of alcohol until it shuts off due to the toxic levels.  Literally, your brain is poisoned by the alcohol (which is why we call it alcohol poisoning) to the point that you are killing brain cells.  And it’s the ones you use that you lose.

Low-risk drinking limits defined by the NIAAA include women should have no more than 7 drinks per week and no more than 3 drinks on any single day.

Just like girls and guys are different in their metabolism of alcohol, certain ethnic groups are also different. 

People with Asian ancestry often have genetic differences in one of their metabolic enzymes for alcohol – alcohol dehydrogenase therefore will become intoxicated and “poisoned” by the build-up of an intermediary bi-product [acedaldehyde – a metabolite of alcohol] faster than Caucasians.  [http://www.wisegeek.org/do-people-of-asian-descent-have-difficulty-metabolizing-alcohol.htm].  This build-up of acetaldehyde leads to a “flushing” response then profuse vomiting.

For more information review this very informative fact sheet by the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/womensfact/womensfact.htm

Safety Tip #5: Have Self-respect. Avoid Social Media Fights!

Who has not made fun of drunk pictures on Facebook or other social media after a night out partying. You simply have to web search “drunk” and you will find all kinds of images you might not like yourself to picture in. And remember once it is out there, the WHOLE WORLD has access to it.

Have you ever considered that if you apply for a job, the company is going to web search your name and look through every piece of information it is linked to? Do you really want last night’s drunk party pics to be one of them?

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On one of my class trips in high school, way before Facebook existed, I had a guy friend, who was certainly drunk, fall asleep on the doormat in front of our apartment door. When we confronted him with the story the next morning, he was so embarrassed. And even now, about 10 years later, his story is the first thing that came in my mind and although the picture is not out there on the web, it is going to be forever in my memory. Do you want to be in somebody’s memory like that?

HAVE SELF-RESPECT!

Recent published article by NY Daily News “Teenage Wasteland: Twitter account reveals drunk and naked antics of Long Island teens”

“Kids do stupid things. We’ve probably all done stupid things, now you’ve got social media to be able to publish to the world how dumb you are forever,” Peter Winick, a Port Washington parent, told CBS New York.

Extract of the article “Wasted Youth” by Gabriele McCormick

“The evidence remains long after the party is over, however. A 2012 Churchill graduate notes that Facebook is filled with pictures from Friday and Saturday night parties. One B-CC mother guessed her son’s Facebook password and discovered pictures of teens throwing up or passed out, with bottles “piled everywhere,” and partygoers whose parents have sworn their children don’t drink.”

What about the “danger of drunk texting”? Have you ever accidentally texted somebody else or looked at the text the next morning and you had a hard time figuring out what you were trying to say yourself? Yes, it might be funny at first, also regarding to the fact that some pages on the internet post “funny drunk texts” but it doesn’t go over so well if you accidentally text your parents, your teacher or even your boss, right? Just think about the consequences for a moment…is it worth it?

Safety Tip #6: Be self-aware. Beware of Black Outs Safety Tip #4: Be a Samaritan. Take care of friends

What does it mean when you “Black Out”?  Blacked out doesn’t mean passed out, although you eventually do.  It means you are walking around in “auto-pilot” – acting on instinct without an awareness of what’s going on around you.  The high amount of alcohol makes your brain poisoned (i.e., “alcohol poisoning”) and kills brain cells – the ones you use are the ones you lose.

BE SELF AWARE! KNOW YOUR LIMITS!

The article “Your Brain on Booze” addresses “What happens when we become too drunk, and how to help a friend who’s had one (or five) too many.”

In addition the article is giving us an idea of how to Be a Samaritan. Take care of friends – Safety Tip #4

WARNING SIGNS OF ALCOHOL TO ALERT YOU TO DANGER FOR A FRIEND (INTOXICATED/OVERDOSE): If you see someone who seems to be passed out or if they have urinated or defecated on themselves – immediately call 911.

  •        Try to wake them up, ask them questions.
  •        If they are not making sense when they talk, not answering your questions or seem unconscious, turn them on their side. They can die from choking      on their vomit.  Call 911.
  •        If they are awake and able to talk, give them water, help them sit up so they can throw up. Continue giving them water to drink, a cold cloth to clean their face with, and call their parents.
  •        Pupils are dilated, they have shallow breathing, and low pulse – immediately call 911.

If you have to submit a friend to the ER, you will NOT automatically be tested or questioned for alcohol or drug use as well!

Check out the resources provided by your College or Community to find more information on where to go if you or a friend of yours needs help. You will find an overview on ULifeline – Your Online Resource for College Mental Health