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Lower Your Risk

Stay in the "Pleasure Zone"

Keeping your BAC (Blood Alchol Concentration) below .05 maximizes the positive effects, while minimizing the risk of negative outcomes.

Common Reasons for Drinking
- "Buzzed" feeling
- Relaxation
- Socializing

Common Downfalls of Drinking
- Hangovers
- Missing class
- Lower grades
- Poor decision-making

Alcohol is biphasic -- meaning that alcohol at low doses is a mild stimulant and at higher doses is a depressant.  So safer drinking means keeping you BAC below .05 (AKA the pleasure zone).

Biphasic

Tips for a Lower BAC
Pace and Space - Sip your drink instead of chugging.  Alternate with non-alcoholic beverages and have no more than 1 drink per hour.  On average it take almost 3 hours for most people to eliminate the alcohol in 2 standard drinks.

Eat before and while drinking - Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly when there is food (especially protein) in your stomach.

Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs - Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs (i.e. antihistamines, sedatives) can increase the effects of alcohol. Caffeine and stimulants (i.e. Energy Drinks) can trick your into feeling less impaired.

Use caution when sick or tired - When you're sleep deprived or ill, alcohol leaves the body more slowly.

Avoid "mega" drinks - Long Island Ice Tea, AMF, Margaritas or Kamikazes contain five or more times alcohol then a standard drink.

Set your limit before you start - To set your limit, think about tomorrow's activities, such as early morning classes, tests, althletic competition - extreme alcohol consumption can effect your ability to think critically and slow your performance.

Use a designated driver - This is not the least drunk person in your group.  Agree on your designated driver before you leave.

Avoid drinking games - These promote rapid ingestion of alcohol and may lead to severe intoxication and "black outs."  Also while playing drinking games it is not likely you will stop at your personal limit you set before you left for the party. 

Safer Drinking Guidelines
Zero drinks is the only safe choice for people in certain situations - for example - consuming alcohol under the age of 21 years is illegal and can lead to legal consequences, driving, pregnant or taking certain perscription or over-the-counter medications.

No more than 1 drink per hour.  On average it takes most people nearly 3 hours to eliminate the alcohol of 2 standard drinks.

Remember, everyone's BAC rises at different rates, however, everyone sobers up at approximately the same rate.  A cold shower, coffee, food, exercise or medicine will not sober a person up faster.  Time is the ONLY thing that can sober a person up.

So making deliberate decisions about alcohol, whether you choose to drink or not, is key to reducing your risk.

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