Safe Sipping

The choice to drink alcohol is a personal one and should not be taken lightly.   The law, campus alcohol policies, health and safety issues should all be considered.   Remember that you and others have the right to abstain from alcohol.   If you do choose to drink, please do so responsibly.

Alcohol should not be the focus of your social activity and it should not be used to "blow off steam", relax or deal with depression.   Having a drink is very different than "going out drinking".

There are many health risks associated with the misuse or abuse of alcohol. Alcohol (beer, whine, liquor) can cause addiction; accidents as a result of   impaired ability and judgment; overdose potential when mixed with other depressants or by itself; heart, liver and brain damage; vomiting; and birth defects if used during pregnancy. Coma and/or death can occur as a result of accidents, overdose or the effects of long-term abuse.

Know What You Are Drinking

Know the alcohol content of the drinks being served.   Most people are able to metabolize 1 drink each hour (one 12 oz. beer, 5 oz wine, 1 shot liquor ). Many teas and punches contain a very high level of alcohol.   There have been reports of the drug Rohypnol (the date rape drug) being put unsuspectingly in drinks on college campuses.   It is important to watch your open drink and not accept an open drink from a person you do not know well.

Do Not Drink & Drive

Do not allow an intoxicated person to drive.   If the party you are at does not provide sober drivers, appoint someone from your group of friends as the sober driver.   Many of the local bars will provide free soft drinks to the designated driver.   Remember to take turns.   Also, persons under the age of 21 can lose their license under the Zero Tolerance law if they have a . 02 blood alcohol content.   In most persons, one drink will put them at .02.

Do Not Drink on an Empty Stomach

Food slows the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.   It is best to choose foods that are high in protein such as cheese and meat.

Know Your Limit & Stay Within It

Alcohol affects each person differently.   Factors include your gender, body weight, mood, amount of food eaten, and level of experience.   The rate at which you drink is also a big factor.   Generally our bodies can metabolize only one drink an hour.   Avoid gulping and guzzling!   Party games should be avoided because they encourage excessive consumption, often beyond what the body can handle.

Do Not Combine Alcohol & Other Drugs or Medications

Alcohol is a drug. Dangerous effects, including death, can occur when alcohol is combined with other drugs.   Even cold medications can be dangerous when taken with alcohol.

Be Extra Careful About Sexual Situations

Alcohol lowers inhibitions and clouds judgment.   If you choose to drink, it is better to abstain than to do something you will regret later.   Sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, and emotional turmoil are often the results when alcohol and sex are combined.

If you think alcohol is causing problems for you or a friend, contact the S.A.P.P. program in Student Health at 341-4225 or the Counseling Center at 341-4211..