Responsible Drinking Guidelines for College Students

College girls drinking alcohol
Many colleges and universities have begun programs that emphasize responsible, rather than total, abstinence. Guidelines for reducing the risk associated with heavy drinking are:

Pace your drinking

Allow time between drinks and sip the drink.

Do not drink every day 

Tolerance is developed and a person must increase the amount of alcohol consumed before effects are noticed. BAC is still rising even though effects are unnoticed.

You decide when to drink 

Do not allow others or situations to determine your drinking. Drink on your terms.

Consider alternating nonalcoholic drinks with containing alcohol 

Drink a soft drink without alcohol every other drink or drink plain orange juice every other drink.

Don’t drink on an empty stomach 

Food with fats and/or protein slow the absorption of the alcohol.

Measure the alcohol 

Pay attention to the size of containers. Do not provide kegs of beer or use larger sized wine, beer, or shot glasses. No contests or other drinking games.

Don’t drink for more than one hour 

Decide what nonalcoholic drink you are going to drink after the hour.

Learn how to calculate your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Know how many drinks are allowed within your hour period.

If you are a female, drink less 

Women become more intoxicated than men after drinking the same amount of alcohol even when differences in body weight are taken into account. Women have proportionately less water in their bodies than men, thus they become more highly concentrated in Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

Avoid taking over-the-counter or prescription medications 

More than 100 medications interact with alcohol. If you are taking any over-the-counter or prescribed drugs, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can safely drink alcoholic beverages.

Fortunately, most college students moderate their drinking after their college years. However, about 12 percent are unable to control their drinking and continue to abuse alcohol. You should weigh carefully the potential consequences of alcohol use and abuse before partaking in heavy drinking. Is it worth the price?
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