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Young women drink, party, post

  • Story Highlights
  • Facebook page features drunken images of young women
  • "Thirty Reasons Girls Should Call it a Night" page has more than 172,000 members
  • Some college advisers warn women they might regret posting drunken photos
  • Center on Alcohol and Substance Abuse: 40 percent of college students binge drink
  • Next Article in Health »
By Elizabeth Cohen
CNN
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- On a Facebook group that celebrates young women getting drunk, there's no such thing as going too far.

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A Facebook page where young women post drunken images of themselves has nearly 5,000 photos.

One young woman dances on top of a bar. Another sits on the toilet drinking a beer. Several vomit. One appears with a bruised and bandaged face ("I just got drunk and fell out of a car," she writes.). In another photo, two women urinate into a waterfall.

What you won't find on this page -- called "Thirty Reasons Girls Should Call it a Night" -- is humiliation and embarrassment. For the most part, the women post the photos themselves, seemingly with pride. This makes many adults -- teachers, counselors, parents -- worry that students aren't thinking through the consequences of showing themselves drunk to the world.

Many photos on the site are accompanied by full names and the colleges the women attend, apparently without much concern that parents, or potential employers, will take a look.

"You can't overstate how unthinking these kids are at 18, 19, 20 years old," said Robert L. Carothers, president of the University of Rhode Island, and a former member of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Committee on Campus Drinking. "They're not a thoughtful bunch, by and large."

But a moderator of the group, who asked that her name not be used, said not to take it too seriously. "It's just something fun to do," she said. "You need to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes."

Carothers said that at URI, advisers tell students not to post photos of themselves drunk, reminding them these pictures can be accessed for years to come.

Often, he says, students don't listen. "I've told them, 'Look, these pictures are evidence you're doing something illegal,' and mainly they say 'Oh, I never thought about that.' Sometimes they say, 'That's who I am,' " Carothers said.

Forty percent of college students binge drink, according to a report this year by the Center on Alcohol and Substance Abuse. The report lists many ramifications of college binge drinking, including injuries, sexual violence and vandalism. In addition, college students who reported having considered suicide were more likely to be active binge drinkers.

The Facebook group doesn't talk much about these problems. It has more than 172,000 members, and nearly 5,000 photos.

The group's moderator said she knows some people look down on her and other women in the group, but it doesn't bother her.

"[They think we're] sloppy, unladylike, low class,'" she wrote in a recent instant message conversation. "[But] I've noticed when college boys do stupid things when they're drunk, they're just being boys."

The moderator has posted two photos of herself on the site: one with two beer bottles in her mouth, and another of her lying in the fetal position next to a toilet.

She said it does worry her that future employers could see these photos when she applies for a job. "I know an employer won't [realize] I know how to separate work and personal time, and I have no intentions of being wrapped around a toilet at a job."

Another member of the Facebook group is more cautious. Laura, a 22-year-old business major, took down a drunken video of herself after being contacted by CNN for an interview, saying the request made her realize anyone could see her video.

She'd already made changes on her MySpace page after her parents saw a video there of her drinking. She made her MySpace page private, so only invited friends could look.

"It's good [my parents] saw it," said Laura, who asked that her last name not be used. "It's better they saw it than a potential employer." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN Medical News senior producer Jennifer Pifer contributed to this report. Elizabeth Cohen is a CNN medical correspondent.

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