- Eat before and during alcohol consumption
- Set a limit before you begin drinking
- Keep track of how much you drink and understand your personal limit
- Alternate water and alcoholic beverages
- Do not drink beverages you have not seen prepared or opened
- Make a plan with your friends about how you will get home safely before heading out - and stick to it!
- Always call for help when needed. Call 911 or the local emergency number if you suspect a friend needs medical intervention, especially if they are unconscious and can't be awakened, they have pale or bluish skin or lips, they are breathing irregularly, or they are vomiting while passed out.
Standard Drink Sizes
- One 12-ounce can or bottle of beer or wine cooler at 4-5% alcohol
- One 4-ounce glass of wine at 12% alcohol
- One 1-ounce shot of 100 proof or 50% alcohol distilled spirit.
One mixed drink, like a mind probe or Long Island ice tea, often has +6 standard drinks.
A person of average body size metabolizes 1 standard drink/hour. Excess alcohol stays in the bloodstream until the liver can metabolize it.
BAC: If you drink, be SMART about your drinking
BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is the ratio of alcohol to blood in your body. A BAC of .10 means one part of alcohol for every thousand parts blood. BAC varies by gender, weight, number and type of drinks, and time range of consumption.
One standard drink raises BAC by .02 for a person weighing 140-180 lbs.
BAC Levels and Description
- .02 - .04: Lightheaded - Mellow feeling, sensation of warmth, less inhibited.
- .05 - .07: Buzzed - Minor reasoning, focusing and memory impairments. Relaxed and tendency to exaggerate emotions.
- .08: Legal Driving Limit - but alcohol affects driving skills before .08.
- .08 - .10: Legally Impaired - Significant balance, speech, vision, reaction time, perception, and judgment impairments.
- .11 - .15: Very Drunk - More pronounced motor, vision, reasoning and depressive effects (anxiety or unease).
- .16 - .24: Dazed - Strong depressive state, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, dizzy, blurred vision. Blackout likely.
- .25 - .30: Stupor - Severely impaired mental, physical and sensory functions. Accidents and passing out very likely.
- .31 & up: Coma - Loss of consciousness, onset of coma, alcohol poisoning and death.
Drinking choices that keep BAC below .05-.06 will minimize risk of negative outcomes and provide the best experience with alcohol!
Signs of alcohol poisoning include: pale skin, rolling eyes, no response or consciousness to loud noises or being shaken, going in and out of consciousness. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning:
- CALL 911 for medical help!
- Turn the person on their side to avoid choking on vomit.
- STAY WITH THEM NO MATTER WHAT! Never leave someone to "sleep it off" as this may lead to death.
Alcoholism is a disease that includes four symptoms:
- Craving - a strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
- Loss of control - the inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion.
- Physical dependence - withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety that occur after alcohol use has stopped or after a period of heavy drinking.
- Tolerance - the need to drink more alcohol in order to reach the "buzz."
Treatment or support can help a person quit drinking and rebuild their life. Identifying and accepting a drinking problem could be one of the greatest barriers to getting help. For more information or to get help visit Student Counseling Services. Additional resources include:
- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- AlcoholScreening.org: Personal Assessment; learn about alcohol and health
- College Drinking Prevention: Binge drinking prevention and other alcohol information
- Alcoholics Anonymous