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Bar specials, Bloomsburg’s specialty

     Take a stroll through the streets near BU, and you’ll hit a bar if you wander enough. With four bars on main street less than a mile away, it’s easy to dive into the bar scene. Daily specials that cut the price of drinks in half tempt those of age and those below. On a college budget, finding things on sale automatically makes it a must-buy, especially when it comes to alcohol.

     Getting sauced on a Sunday never sounded so reasonable when you can get a double well drink for only $2 every single night from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Good Old Days. If you play your cards right, you won’t even need to spend your own money when others are willing to spend theirs on you! Irresistible specials include $3 pitchers on Thursday at Hardware and Good Old Days’s Wednesday night special of 50 cent wings and $3 personal pitchers of the Pennsylvania classic, Yuengling.

     At this point, you may as well become a regular with such great bargains. Once you reach that status, you’re on your way to getting sloshed on a Monday, tipsy on a Tuesday and wasted on a Wednesday. And at any college, you don’t even need an excuse to drink on good old Thirsty Thursday.
With a bar reputation established, your social nature can truly bloom with the loss of inhibitions. In a college environment, we all know that it’s much easier to meet people when you’ve had a drink or seven. Now you’ll have a social support structure after meeting all the bar regulars and the bartenders that know your name. Nothing says, “Welcome back!” like the bartender greeting you by name at the door, asking if you want the usual.

     Becoming deeply indoctrinated into the bar scene is a dangerous game that leads quickly to frequent drinking, in turn becoming daily drinking until the prestige of the label “alcoholic” is awarded. Now, the opportunity to bond with the other bar regulars sharing the same title arises. It’s much easier to rationalize going out when your friend group is suddenly composed of a slew of alcoholics.

     Meanwhile, there’s schoolwork. A strong relationship with the bar scene will likely poorly affect academic success. This focus on drinking blurs the line between the academic reason to attend university and having an inebriated adventure on the daily. The glamour of bars can’t be ignored given the university’s proximity to a host of options.

     The Bloomsburg parties that we all know happen don’t have the same appeal. Sticky floors, sloppy freshmen and frat meatheads don’t hold the same attraction as a legal environment to meet people who can handle a drink.

     The physical toll of binge drinking is a danger though. Anyone who has been drunk will tell you about the killer hangovers that put you out of commission for a full day. On an internal level, heavy drinking damages the heart, pancreas and liver as well as weakening the immune system.
But wait, there’s more!  Not only does alcohol have an effect on physical health, but it also can affect mental health.

     Instead of easing stress, it can do the exact opposite. As a depressant, frequent or heavy drinking can inflict feelings of anger, aggression, anxiety and depression. Dealing with college will get a whole lot harder when you throw these stressors into the mix.

    Fortunately, there is a solid support system advocating not drinking. Daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Columbia county range in meeting times. They take place at a variety of locations scattered around the county ranging in times from as early as 7 a.m to as late as 8 p.m. Bloomsburg University also offers a list of resource options concerning drug and alcohol counseling which can all be found on the university website.

     The nearest option, Genesis House at 320 East 2nd Street, is located even closer than the nearest bar. Treatment options are plenty and require only a short walk. Reaching out for support from friends, family, local resources and, most importantly, realizing there is a problem is the first step to overcoming any issues relating to alcohol. In the meantime, drink responsibly, and enjoy those $2 doubles.


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Keyen Bingaman, Author

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