Lower Your Risk
Guidelines, Safety, and Alternatives.....
201 University Recreation Center
Cheney, WA 99004
Lower Your Risk
There are two classifications of alcohol consumption: Moderate and Excessive. Each classification has different health and personal consequences associated with it. Moderate drinking:
- Men — no more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Women — no more than one alcoholic drink per day
Risky behavior for alcohol-related problems:
- Men — greater than four drinks per occasion or greater than 14 drinks per week
- Women — greater than three drinks per occasion or greater than seven drinks per week
Moderate alcohol consumption can have its benefits, such as improved cardiovascular and circulatory health. Ethanol (the major ingredient in alcoholic beverages) directly influences many parts of the body, such as the stomach, brain, gallbladder, heart, and liver.
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to increased blood pressure and heart damage; greater risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, and breast; and cause inflammation and scarring of the liver. Alcohol consumption can also play a large role in depression and violent behavior. Excessive drinking is a factor in approximately half of all fatal traffic accidents in the United States and is a major cause of preventable fatalities in many countries around the world. Alcohol also needs to be avoided by pregnant women because it can damage a growing fetus before it has the chance to develop properly.
Below are some guidelines that can help you limit potentially negative consequences of alcohol consumption.
Avoid "Mega" Drinks
Mega drinks such as Long Island Ice Tea, Singapore Sling or Kamikaze contain much more alcohol then the standard drink. In some cases, five or more times the amount found in one drink.
Reminder - One 12 oz. beer, one 5 oz. glass of wine, or one mixed drink with only one 1 oz. shot of alcohol in it is considered one drink.
Pacing yourself while drinking will allow you to enjoy the time you spend in a social atmosphere. You will be able to stay out longer without becoming so intoxicated that you become a burden to your friends thus allowing them to enjoy themselves as well.
Set Your Limit before you start
Know what your limit is and set it before you start. To set your limit, think about tomorrow's activities i.e. tests, athletic competition, early morning classes, work etc... Even if you do not have anything to do tomorrow, set your limits tonight!!! Extreme amounts of alcohol consumption that lead to serious impairment and "black outs" can effect your ability to think critically and abstractly for days and sometimes weeks after only one session.
Eat before and while you drink
Make sure you eat a healthy meal before you start to drink and continue to snack while you drink. This will help slow down the absorption of alcohol as well as fill you up. Contrary to popular belief, a late night meal at Zips after drinking heavily, will not make you any less drunk.
Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks
This one is easy. Just alternate your drinks, alcohol in the first drink, none in the second, and so on and so on. This will lengthen the time between drinks and allow your body to metabolize some of the alcohol you've consumed.
Drink water in between your alcoholic drinks. This will help you remain hydrated throughout the evening and into tomorrow. Water will also give your body time to metabolize the alcohol you consume.
Stop when you start to feel the effects or you reach your limit
When you start to feel the effects....it is time to stop. Or if you have reached your pre-determined limit....it is time to stop. In other words, once you can feel your buzz, stop drinking and sustain that feeling for the rest of the night. You might be surprised how much fun you will have without spending all of your money or having a "killer" hangover the next morning. Drinking more alcohol at this point does not make it feel better! The more you drink, the worse you will feel.
Use a Designated Driver
This is a great strategy. Have someone who is not drinking drive you home. This is not the least drunk person in your group. Agree on your sober driver before you leave. This should be someone you trust and someone who will keep their commitment to staying sober.
Avoid Drinking Games
Drinking games promote rapid ingestion of alcohol in an unregulated and unmonitored situation. This may lead to severe intoxication and "black outs" as well as other serious health risks. Also while playing drinking games it is not likely that you will set or stop at your personal limit. Many Drinking games such as: Tippy Cup (Boat Races) and Beer Pong may encourage the spread of bacteria and illness.
Choose to be Sober
You can offer to be the sober driver. This means absolutely NO drinking. If your friends have DD'd for you, volunteer to return the favor and spend your night with pop and water. You can still have fun without drinking alcohol!