THE LONG DESCENT:Navigating the advancing stages of inebriation

Like it or not, drinking is an inescapable part of college culture. Accepting this fact, the editorial board would like to encourage students to learn how to handle their liquor during this critical and sometimes drunken time of their lives.

The editorial board does not in any way endorse reckless drinking, driving while intoxicated or any other negative behaviors associated with excessive alcohol consumption. For the convenience of students, we’ve laid out a five-stage guide to drinking responsibly complete with corresponding drunken forecasts.

Chance of vomit: low
Embarrassing behavior risk: low

After consuming one or two drinks—although this varies by person—students may start to feel what we’ll refer to as a buzz. Everyone is slightly more attractive, funny and easier to get along with. Students are likely having fun, talking non-stop and laughing more than usual.

The chance of embarrassing oneself at this stage is low, often equivalent to the likelihood of embarrassing oneself while sober. At this point, people have taken a few shots, but have yet to really start feeling the effects. A buzz is a barely noticeable high—just a hint of the alcohol has kicked in.

To make sure they don’t get too drunk later on in the night, students should eat a decent-sized meal sometime before or during this stage, and not get carried away with the shots. While students might not be feeling the effects of those Jägerbombs right away, the alcohol will probably kick in sooner than expected. It is wise not to start the night double-fisting if at all possible.

Chance of vomit: low
Embarrassing behavior risk: possible

This is where those Jack and root beers from the Black Rabbit start to kick in. Everything experienced during stage one is intensified in stage two. Students may start to feel their inhibitions being lowered, and might become a little handsy with the folks they converse with.

This is the stage where students might start to embarrass themselves a bit. However, they probably won’t care, and neither will the likewise tipsy individuals surrounding them.

At this point, girls often start to disappear into bathrooms for minutes at a time, caught up in sink-side discussions about the annoying friend’s comments or the overly drunk friend’s increasingly ridiculous antics.

During this stage, it’s important to pair drinks with water in order to stay hydrated and prevent a terrible hangover the next morning. Students should also be wary of overindulging and overshooting the golden drunk zone into wasted territory.

Chance of vomit: moderate
Embarrassing behavior risk: likely

This is drunken nirvana. The perfect buzz, everyone is likely now glowingly attractive, funny and full of social graces. Coordination is now noticeably impaired, and speech is slurred. Something pretty embarrassing is likely to happen during the stage, especially for lightweights and novices. Tripping, twerking and hitting on randoms are all examples of embarrassing behaviors commonly displayed during this stage. Not to fret—such embarrassing events are usually expected and end up making great stories for future parties.

Those with weak stomachs are advised to resist the powerful pull beer munchies exert during this stage. Stoner Pie from Gumby’s is all right for those drunks with iron guts, but may induce vomiting in less intestinally-fortified students.

It is crucial during this stage that students evaluate how much they are drinking and make sure not to push themselves over the edge from drunk to wasted. Evaluating oneself under the harsh florescent lighting of a stranger’s bathroom can often help students identify exactly how drunk they are. Be warned: a brief existential crisis may be triggered by using this technique.

Chance of vomit: high
Embarrassing behavior risk: inevitable

Things are starting to take a turn for the worse at this point. To get to this level of drunkenness, something must have gone wrong during the night. Either drunk mathematics failed students and they overshot the perfect drunk level, or else they simply threw caution to the wind and drank far too much in too small a period of time, causing them to become wasted. Either way, reaching this stage should never be anyone’s goal for
the night.

Phones must be avoided like the plague. Embarrassing drunk dials and texts are extremely likely at this stage. Do not, at any cost, message exes at this point. This can only end in disaster.

Embarrassing moments are unavoidable during this stage. Our advice to students is to immediately halt all drinking upon entering wasted territory in a desperate ploy to salvage the night and their dignity. Feelings of dizziness and nausea will have likely set in, and the chances of vomiting in a strange, dingy toilet are high.
Not fun.

Chance of vomit: extremely likely
Embarrassing behavior risk: inescapable

This is no longer a party, but an issue of safety. Students should not under any circumstances drink any more alcohol during this stage, but unfortunately often lose all reasoning abilities at this point and are unable to identify the danger in which they have put themselves. This is where surrounding oneself with trustworthy friends becomes important.

At this stage, alcohol poisoning becomes a threat. More sober partiers should ensure any individuals vomiting or experiencing other telltale signs of this stage immediately halt drinking and are examined for symptoms of alcohol poisoning.

Embarrassing oneself at this stage is no longer a chance, it is inescapable and probably a constant occurrence. Behaviors during this stage can often lead to even more embarrassing discussions the next morning, and concerns over alcoholism become a real possibility.

Students should make sure friends at this level of intoxication are safely driven home by a sober friend and are not suffering from alcohol poisoning. At this point, the night has been ruined for the poor soul who dared to get blackout drunk and has likely also been ruined for several other party guests.