Drunk is nothing to be proud of

Editorial Board

Issue:  Brookings residents appear to be proud of its most recent title as fifth-drunkest city nation-wide, but the rank should be seen as a wake up call versus an award.


Brookings was recently ranked as the fifth-drunkest city in the United States according to Bustle.com. This article is floating around the Internet and those of us who live in Brookings: students, faculty, or residents, are discussing it. 

We feel that this article is nothing more than some simple math that is blown out of proportion; it honestly shouldn’t be taken as seriously as some people are taking it. Figures on binge drinkers and heavy drinkers were calculated by the Centers for Disease Control and the two were simply combined and published by bustle.com – which is how they rated the top 10 drunkest cities. This in itself may not be the most scientific way to determine the drunkest spots in the nation, but it does get one thinking. 

The CDC study classifies drinking rates in two categories: heavy drinkers and binge drinkers. The former are men who drink more than two drinks and women who have more than one; and the latter is defined with men who have more than five drinks and women having four or more drinks. 

This article should be nothing more than alarming. We understand that a staple in the college culture is to have fun through drinking; however drinking is consistently something that can lead to a lot of issues. 

Addiction is a serious issue and while we’re somewhat young, we’re all forming to be socially reasonable adults on the brink of entering the real world, and problems like this shouldn’t be something to laugh at or be proud of. 

As opposed to dancing around the fire basking in its glory, we should be worried about putting it out and finding exactly what started it in the first place. Even though it’s fun in moderation, some people spiral down and make poor choices that affect not only themselves but also others when they abuse alcohol. 

In South Dakota, 58.4 percent of adults have had at least one drink in the past 30 days. According to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 75 percent of ninth grade teens living in South Dakota had permissive (little to no discipline for actions) households that allowed them to drink. According to The Century Council, in 2011 53.5 percent of driving fatalities in South Dakota involved drunk drivers under 21 and 28.8 percent involved those of age and 5,269 people were arrested for drunk driving. 

These are the issues that are hiding behind this inflated statistic people are amused by. While you’re staring at this main issue head-on, the layers underneath it are much more dark and alarming. Across the gambit, alcohol is a big hand in crime and abuse rates. These numbers are from people that made dark choices with the beverage that some are now proud we’re statistically known for enjoying. 

Do we want to boast and be excited that almost half the driving deaths in this state could have been possibly avoided if someone didn’t drink and drive? People are suffering unnecessarily through alcohol abuse underneath the fun and we’re boasting about it. 


 Stance: The bustle.com article should be taken as an alarm rather than a trophy.