College Students & Alcohol/Other Drugs
Get the Facts
Now that you are in college, you’ve got the freedom to make your own decisions about your life. That includes how much (if ever) and how often you drink, smoke or take drugs. But before you start partying every night, take a look at some of the links below and make sure you know all the facts about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Are you good to go?
What does the BAL level really mean?
You might know that a .10% BAL puts you over the legal limit for driving, but do you know how alcohol effects your body in the .05-06% range? At what percent do blackouts start to occur? And if you are a 140-lb. woman who has 5 drinks in two hours, how do you know exactly what you BAL is, anyway? For answers to all of these questions and more, take a look at this Blood Alcohol Level Table.
Here are some hints for maintaining a moderate blood alcohol concentration (adapted from How Alcohol Effects Us):
- Educate yourself. The contents of the typical bottle or can of
beer, glass of wine, or liquor drink (mixed drink or straight
liquor) each contain virtually identical amounts of pure alcohol.
When it comes to alcohol, a drink is a drink is a drink and are
they all the same to a breathalyzer. For more, visit Standard
- Know your limit. If you are not sure, experiment at home with
your spouse or some other responsible individual. Explain what
you are attempting to learn. Most people find that they can consume
one drink per hour without any ill effects. Also, experiment with
this FUN and informative "Drink Wheel."
- Eat food while you drink. Food, especially high protein food
such as meat and cheese will help slow the absorption of alcohol
into your body.
- Sip your drink. If you gulp a drink, you also lose the pleasure
of savoring its flavors and aromas.
- Accept a drink only when you really want one. If someone tries
to force a drink on you, ask for a non-alcohol beverage instead.
If that doesn't work, "lose" your drink by setting it
down somewhere and leaving it.
- Skip a drink now and then. Having a non-alcoholic drink between
alcoholic ones will help keep your blood alcohol content level
down, as does spacing out your alcoholic drinks
- Limit consumption
of alcohol beverages to one drink (as defined above) per
hour, a general guideline which works well for most.
- Keep active; don't just sit around and drink. If you stay active
you tend to drink less and to be more aware of any effects alcohol
may be having on you.
- Beware of unfamiliar drinks. Some drinks, such as zombies and
other fruit drinks, can be deceiving as the alcohol content is
not detectable. Therefore, it is difficult to space them properly.
- Use alcohol carefully in connection with pharmaceuticals. Ask
your physician or pharmacist about any precautions or prohibitions
and follow any advice received.
- Avoid "chugging" contests or other
Where can you learn more?
red watch Band
The Red Watch Band movement is designed to end alcohol overdose deaths by teaching students how to handle alcohol emergencies and summon professional help. All participants who complete the RWB training receive CPR certification and are able to understand how alcohol emergencies are medical emergencies that require immediate, professional care. For a full training schedule, click on the watch below.
Get more information
Finally, test your own (or someone else's) alcohol use by using our free, anonymous online screening. Or, take the BASICS screening to obtain even more personalized information about your alcohol or marijuana usage patterns; your results are confidential. You can also obtain individual BAL (blood alcohol level) information given your gender and weight using this Blood Alcohol Chart.
Thinking about making changes to your own use patterns? Talk it over with our AOD Counselor, Sarah Covell. Make an appointment with Sarah by calling 585-245-5716 (on Tuesdays, also visit with Sophie!).
Don't drink alcohol but still want great refreshment? Check out webtender.com's awesome selection of non-alcoholic mixed drinks.