“Hang up the Hangover” promotes alcohol awareness2 min read

Rachel Schemel

De Anza College’s Heath Services sponsored the presentation of “Hang up the Hangover” as part of April’s alcohol awareness month. With a table of snacks and drinks, the presentation featured audience interaction and high energy all around.

“One in three students flunks out of school because of alcohol,” Health Services Coordinator Mary Sullivan told audience members.

Many of the audience members were there as part of a class, including students from Human Development 20, taught by Patricia Gibson. Other instructors encouraged their students to go for extra credit.

Executive Director of Voices United Gabrielle Antolovich, a Silicon Valley organization working to inform and help free communities of addiction, was the guest speaker for “Hang Up the Hangover.”

Antolovich has been speaking for over 30 years and is originally from Europe. “[In Europe] it seems to be no big deal about alcohol,” she said.

The presentation focused on facts of the alcohol trends in society today.

“How many people threw up their first time drinking?” Antolovich asked. “This is called an allergic reaction,” she said, noting the number of audience member hands.

Antolovich pointed out how ineffective the laws against under age drinking is and how many people start drinking at a young age.

Antolovich lead a demonstration showing how people can act while under the influence of alcohol. “When alcohol is involved, something changes.” She explained how alcohol can be used to ease stress, but in turn can sometimes make one look ignorant.

At the end of the presentation Antolovich gave audience members a quiz to see if they could tell the difference between sodas and alcopops. Alcopops are a type of beverage that look like a soda, but are really an alcoholic beverage.

“Don’t you think it’s interesting [that] they all look alike?” Antolovich asked the audience.

She showed the similarities companies make to appeal to younger audiences.

“If they start you young, that’s a customer for a long time,” Antolovich said. She pointed out that alcopops have a higher percentage of alcohol in them than an average beer.

When Antolovich spoke on the effects of alcohol in the body, an audience member interrupted to argue that the presentation was in fact promoting alcohol abstinence. “I’m just putting the facts out there,” Antolovich said. “It’s up to you on what to do with it.”