IFC sponsors anti drinking lecture by recovering alcoholic

Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 30, 2001

A recovering alcoholic shared some sobering experiences last night at Cliff Keen Arena as he revealed the hazards of drinking to members of the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association.

Mike Green, who took his last drink 23 years ago and has made a career out of traveling nationwide to schools and universities, appeared at the University for the 10th time last night to talk about what he called the "one-night problem."

"Just because I can"t drink doesn"t mean you can"t, and I sincerely mean that," he said.

Green, while assuring members of the Greek system that the majority of them would not become alcoholics, said alcoholism is not the only problem associated with drinking.

He spoke of his personal experiences, as well as those of others.

He said a girl who got "drunk and hungry" one night went out to eat, jumped a guy wearing a chicken costume outside a restaurant, stole his costume and was arrested. When a question on the bar exam years later asked if she had ever been arrested, she had to admit it. The girl was unable to practice law.

Another example: After drinking Everclear, an especially potent alcoholic beverage, a man passed out while sitting at a bar. The three females he was speaking with, instead of taking him home or to the hospital, took him to a tattoo parlor. When he woke up, he had a tattoo on his forehead.

The one-night problem, he said, was "a short term problem of one night that can have lifelong consequences."

Green also advised students against smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol in the same night.

He said he had learned his lesson from a personal experience.

He had been smoking and drinking at a party one night when several police officers knocked on the door of the house. Green said he ran out of the house and continued to run all the way home, where he immediately crashed on the couch and fell asleep.

The problem came when he woke up in the morning without his clothes. "I found out, I was one house short of my house," he said, adding that it was a difficult situation to explain to his children. "I"ve been hearing "Mr. Naked" (from my neighbor) for 30 years."

On a more serious note, he encouraged students to become "spotters" for friends who drink too much in one night by swapping drinks for car keys and by not promoting dangerous, hurtful or unlawful behavior.

"You never do a shot a minute for 21 minutes on your 21st birthday," Green said. "Nobody has the right to spike anybody else"s drink to get them into bed. Kick them out of the party or call the police."

He added that "one-night problems" are everyday occurrences on college campuses because students always claim to have a reason to drink.

Days he identified as having high drinking risks included Labor Day Weekend, Welcome Week, Monday Night Football nights, Halloween, the NCAA basketball playoffs "that"s a full month" Spring Break, finals, New Year"s Eve, study days, Greek Week, Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine"s Day, birthdays and paydays.

Students were asked to measure themselves and add up the number of times they drink or get drunk each year.

Jenny Opatik, a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority, said the presentation showed her how common the one-night problem is at the University.

"A lot of my friends rate around 400," she said.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, University Health Service and the Athletic Department.