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 affects 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 your 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 Affects 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 Drinks.
- Know your limit. 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 drinking games.
Where can you learn more?
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.