On October 23rd at 6:06 pm, the brothers of the Delta Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated hosted an Alcohol Awareness event in the Campus Union Ballroom. Guest speaker, Kevin T. Wilbert Sr., a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the 11th Mississippi District Director, spoke about the dangers that come with alcohol consumption.
Senior and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Robert Tatum, Bio- Chemistry Pre-Medicine and Molecular Biology Bio-Technology double major from Madison, Mississippi, stated, “This event is very important because just a few years ago we had a couple of brothers who died in a car crash who were hit by a drunk driver. We initiated this program to help bring alcohol awareness to campuses because that could’ve been one of us or a loved one, so we want to help prevent those types of things from happening in our communities.”
Wilbert has been sober from alcohol and drugs for over 23 years. He talked about his own experiences dealing with being an alcoholic and drug addict. Wilbert stated, “Alcoholism and drug addiction is the same disease. An alcoholic and a crackhead have the same disease.” He spoke about the warning signs of being an alcoholic. These signs include, but aren’t limited to, drinking when you are happy and sad, considering a good time that consists of getting drunk, drinking to get drunk, and blacking out when you drink. He spoke about what alcohol can do to one’s body. According to Wilbert, liver disease, kidney disease, and wet brain (Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome) can all be developed from alcohol consumption.
Not only did Wilbert speak about his own experiences, but he also spoke about resources for people who have a drinking problem. Treatment facilities are offered to those who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. Outpatient and inpatient treatment are other options. Outpatient treatment is when patients are able to stay in the comfort of their own home and it is less expensive. Inpatient treatment consists of patients staying in a facility and it is more intensive. The last treatment option Wilbert mentioned is individual counseling, which is more personal.
The last topic discussed by Wilbert was tips on drinking if you are 21 years or older. His first tip is always have a designated driver to and from a location if you plan on drinking. The designated driver must be someone who has not consumed an ounce of alcohol or drugs. His next tip is knowing your alcohol tolerance, which means know how much alcohol your body can handle without being out of control. If you are somewhere and have been drinking he suggests that you call a taxi or cab service to take you home. When it comes to consuming alcohol, he talked about diluting stronger drinks with juice for an example. His last two tips were to always eat before you drink and never mix brown and clear liquor.
Many students were present for the seminar which lasted an hour and was open to everyone. Student, Darinique Netter, a Freshman Political Science major from New Orleans, Louisiana, stated, “I decided to come to this event because I feel like alcohol awareness is important and people in my family struggle with alcoholism. My father drinks a lot and alcohol awareness is also important because a lot of people die from drunk driving, so I think more people need to be aware about the risks of drinking.”
The event ended with a question and answer segment. For more information about alcohol awareness you can visit the Alcohol Addiction and Abuse website at https://www.addictioncenter.com/alcohol/.