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Advice for High-Risk Times in Student’s Life

The more parents know about collegiate alcohol problems, the more likely collaboration between the university and parents can help prevent alcohol problems.

Tips for lower risk consumption:

  • Thinking about whether you will drink, what you will drink before the party, not consuming mindlessly
  • Being 21 years old or older
  • Eating a meal before or during drinking
  • Abstaining when recovering from an illness and is also the best for the individual that is on any medication
  • Drinking one drink per hour; maximum 3 for women and 4 for men for the entire evening
  • Always knowing what you are drinking: never accepting an open container or leaving a drink unattended and then drinking it
  • Alternating alcohol-free (caffeine-free too) drinks throughout the evening; water is the best option
  • Knowing how you will get home safely before going out

High-risk drinking is:

  • Drinking to get drunk
  • Driving after drinking or riding with someone under the influence
  • Drinking too much or too fast on an empty stomach
  • Drinking Games
  • Chugging
  • Doing shots
  • Using a funnel, hose, or punch bowl
  • Going to parties where people drink too much
  • Not knowing what is in your glass or leaving it unattended
  • Mixing alcohol with any medications, over the counter or prescription
  • Mixing alcohol with illegal drugs
  • Mixing alcohol with energy drinks
  • Pre-partying or pre-gaming
  • Drinking while sleep deprived
  • Drinking as an excuse for sexual activities
  • Drinking with a genetic predisposition to substance use disorder, depression, eating disorders, etc.

Some High Risk Times during the Academic Year:

  • The first six weeks of school (major pressure to socialize and get caught up with friends in addition to low academic demands)
  • Homecoming
  • Right before, during, or immediately after mid-terms as a means of stress management
  • After handing in a major paper or project (very high risk if the student had stayed all night before, working on the paper/project; sleep deprivation can intensify the impairment)
  • During fraternity rush/recruitment
  • Bid Day or Night
  • Semi-formals and Formals
  • Major sporting events
  • Winter Break
  • Spring Break
  • Mardi Gras
  • Birthdays (especially 21st)
  • Break up of relationships
  • Right after finals
  • Graduation