Students fall prey to day drinking and cirrhosis, study reports

Noah Pasley

Following the turbulent month March has been, it’s only fitting to share yet another bout of bad news. While social distancing and self-isolation are certainly effective measures to curb COVID-19, they have done nothing but spread that other Corona virus — your hangover.

In the wake of St. Patrick’s Day, Phillip McGraw, a fermentation sciences professor at Colorado State University, conducted a study across Colorado surveying campuses and college towns. His research paper, titled “Beers and Peers,” shows the effects of self-quarantine on the great American pastime of beer bongs and car bombs.


According to the study, over 70% of students surveyed reported symptoms of a hangover such as light sensitivity, headaches, nausea and hazy memories of texting their ex “wyd” at 3 a.m. The study also showed that, while alcohol sales skyrocketed, local brewskis like Rally King Brewing and New Belgium Brewing Company took a hit due to adjusted hours and other safety precautions following the pandemic. 

Connor Brighton, a third-year student in mechanical engineering, said the precautions made it too inconvenient to wait for the better quality beers. 

“At the end of the day, it’s about me cracking open a cold one with my boy Joe Exotic,” Brighton said. “If that means settling for my Natty Lights, then so be it. The quarantine and chill must go on.”

However, the study also showed a dangerous new trend, indicating that the levels of binge drinking among college students made them far more likely to develop cirrhosis, or liver scarring.

McGraw said the drinking tendencies are in line with the average St. Patrick’s Day party.

“The main danger is that students have lost their sense of time due to the quarantine, and with nowhere else to go, they can drink until they run dry,” McGraw said. “So, the happy hour never stops, and that’s why we see these far more dangerous levels of intoxication and sheer stupidity.”

Because of the trend, numbers indicate that students across the state are on average 20% more likely to develop cirrhosis, with CSU students nearing 25%. But, not to be outdone, numbers indicate that students from CU Boulder are nearly twice as likely to develop cirrhosis, with numbers nearing 40%, concentrated around The Hill.

But perhaps an even scarier side effect of the day drinking is the amount of home video adaptations pouring into channels on TikTok, from “remastered” takes of “Shaun of the Dead” to creative new perspectives on “The Disaster Artist.”

Noah Pasley can be reached at or on Twitter @PasleyNoah.