by Alexandra Dahl, University Health Center health promotions analyst
Drinking has long been a popular activity for college students nationwide. While the safest option—and legal restriction for those under 21—is obviously abstinence, this may not be realistic for all.
Whether or not you plan to drink, take time to educate yourself on safe alcohol consumption so that you and your friends have fun and stay safe.
Here are our top 10 alcohol and party safety tips and tricks:
- Make a plan before you go out. Buddy up with a friend and stick with them. If you’re going out with a group, make sure the entire group stays together throughout the night.
- Eat a protein-filled snack before drinking. This slows the absorption of alcohol into your body.
- Watch your drink be made or make it yourself. This ensures no one is tampering with your drink, and it helps you know how much alcohol you are consuming.
- Drink a cup of water in between each alcoholic drink. This helps you pace yourself and stay hydrated.
- Keep track of how many drinks you have consumed throughout the night. Alcohol takes a while to process, so this practice will keep you from getting too drunk too quickly.
- Never leave your drink unattended. You cannot be sure what will happen to it while you’re away. If you lose sight of your drink, get a new one.
- Remember there is no way to “sober up” quickly. The tricks you may have heard about drinking coffee or taking a cold shower don’t work. It just takes time—about one hour per alcoholic drink (standard size) consumed.
- Know the signs of alcohol poisoning. If you or a friend begin to look blue or pale, experience nausea or vomiting, pass out or just don’t feel right in general, it’s best to get help. Do not put the person to bed to “sleep it off” or leave the person unattended—this could be dangerous.
- Know University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s alcohol policy.
- No matter what you do, don’t drive. Designate a driver or call an Uber, Lyft or cab. Do this even if you’ve only had a few drinks. Alcohol affects everyone differently, so it’s best to just avoid driving.
On a final note, don’t drink only because you assume everyone’s doing it. The results of the fall 2016 National College Health Assessment II survey revealed UNL students perceived 93.4 percent of their peers drink when, in reality, only 60.5 percent drink. Don’t feel pressured to drink if you don’t want to—it should be your personal choice.
Want to learn more about safe drinking habits? Schedule a University Health Center alcohol safety presentation with our peer educators for your class, registered student organization, residence hall, Greek house, etc. For more information, contact Health Promotion & Outreach by calling 402.472.5000 or visiting http://health.unl.edu/hpo.