Four out of every five students drink alcohol at some point during college according to the Alcohol Rehab Guide. About 80 percent those students also binge drink.
The American College Health Association: National College Health Assessment II, a quiz freshmen took in March of 2018, asked how many students drank alcohol. Of the 695 students that took the poll, 93.6 percent said they drank alcohol regularly.
However, there can be safety risks that can come with drinking such as drunk driving, alcohol poisoning and more.
Nurse practitioner Brenda Anderson and Wellness Center Counselor Polly Davis have some tips on how to stay safe and keep others safe while drinking.
“Have one drink every hour and make sure you eat and drink water in between, make sure to be aware of the medications you are on and what happens when they are mixed with alcohol,” Anderson said.
A piece of advice from Davis is to avoid mixing alcohol with other substances like energy drinks and drugs.
“Mixing these two substances will lead to doubled tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in the blood,” Davis said. “This will cause impaired judgment and increased heart rate.”
Some other safe tips from Anderson and Davis:
Have a designated driver to bring you home. Make sure they know who they came with and are leaving with.
If you don’t have a designated driver, use Brookings’ taxis, BATA bus or Lyft.
Bring a phone charger in case of an emergency.
Be mindful of those around you and practice being an active bystander, and call the police if necessary.
In order to drink safely, know how much to drink.
“Women should have one drink a day and men, too,” Davis said.
Risks of drinking can range from minor to deadly. Alcohol is a depressant and increases anxiety. It can lead to cancer, brain damage, heart muscle damage and alcohol poisoning.
“If there is a situation where someone has alcohol poisoning, the first thing to do is call 911. Then roll them toward you and place their top hand under their head and bend their top leg up so they don’t choke on their vomit,” said freshman Elizabeth Braley, who got this information from the survey freshmen took in the beginning of the semester.
There are many signs of alcohol poisoning, but the main indicators are slow breathing, paleness, confusion and being unconsciousness from high amounts of alcohol in the blood or alcohol coma.
Other tips to stay safe during a night of drinking is to measure drinks to avoid drinking too much, alternate between alcohol and water, pace drinks and plan the night ahead of time.
These tips and advice can help students stay safe and keep others safe while drinking which is important to keep in mind when choosing to consume alcohol.