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September 2019

Soak It Up: Having a Healthy Relationship with Alcohol

 

Being new to college you will be faced with many new situations and experiences that you may have never been a part of before. It is normal for many college students to try alcohol for the first time and experiment with what role it will play in their life, but at the health and counseling center, we want to make sure that we encourage students to be smart with the choices that they make surrounding alcohol.   

Keep in mind that everyone’s body will process alcohol differently. Try your best to be mindful of how much YOU have had to drink and how you feel, rather than worrying about keeping up with your friends. Also, be aware of the types of drinks you are having. A 12-ounce beer contains the same amount of alcohol as a standard shot of vodka or 5-ounces of wine.  

Plan ahead how you will get from location to location. Ensure that you have a safe mode of transportation, whether this is having a designated driver, using public transportation, or ride sharing services such as Lyft. 

It is important to eat a large and sustainable meal before you drink, such as pizza, and snack throughout the night. This, and drinking water throughout the night, will help to prevent you from getting sick and help your body to process the alcohol more efficiently. It can take the body up two hours to process and eliminate alcohol from the body, depending on your weight and how much you drank. Nothing can speed up this process, so don’t overestimate how sober you may think that you are after drinking.  

Be aware of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and look out for them in your friends if they get sick. These could include:  nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, blackout, dehydration, and mental confusion. Always use your best judgement and do not be afraid to call for help. Serious consequences, such as coma and death, can occur when individuals are not treated for alcohol poisoning. It is better to be safe rather than sorry.  

Although college is a time for new experiences, it is important to remember that educating yourself on safe drinking habits will help keep you and others safe throughout your time as a Pilot.