because it's your health...

It's National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. Are you really aware of alcohol and all the risks associated with heavy drinking? The following information is from, a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing information that will encourage responsible decision-making concerning alcohol.

Tips for controlling BAC:

Pace your drinking, allow time between drinks. Consider alternating non-alcoholic "decoy" drinks with those containing alcohol (i.e., drinking plain orange juice every other drink).

Don't drink on an empty stomach, foods with fats and/or proteins slow alcohol absorption.

Keep track of how much you are drinking; know how much alcohol is poured into every glass. Dilute distilled beverages, don't drink them straight. After the first few drinks, reduce the amount of alcohol in each drink.

Avoid possible interactions between alcohol and other drugs (including certain foods and over-the-counter medications).

Drink only if you want to - don't let others dictate your choice.

Keep active. Don't just sit down and drink all night. If you keep active, you will drink less and will be more aware of your level of intoxication.

Keep out of "chugging" contests or other drinking games. Stop drinking before the party is over to allow your liver time to burn off some of the alcohol. Drink non-alcoholic beverages the last hour or so.

Keep in mind that an added ice cube, a slightly smaller glass, or a "decoy" drink will go undetected by others. They may help you to resist the well-meaning efforts of others at the party who can't stand to see someone without a drink in their hand.

Remember: Careful planning of a party can increase the pleasure for both the guests and the hosts. BACs are good measures of the amount of pleasure (or discomfort) that will result from a particular pattern of drinking. BACs in excess of 0.125 percent will NOT increase the pleasure, only the discomfort.

Alcohol Poisoning

Different people experience different effects of alcohol. There are no absolutes. If a large amount of alcohol is in a person's system, it can result in unconsciousness. The heart and lungs can be slowed to the point of stopping. It is dangerous to assume a person will just sleep it off. People may pass out before all of the alcohol reaches the brain. When in doubt, call for emergency assistance.

If You Suspect Alcohol Poisoning:

1. Wake the person up. Call their name; shake them; pinch their skin. If they don't respond, get help!

2. Turn and keep the person on their side so that if they get sick they will not choke on their vomit.

3. Check the person's skin. If his/her skin is pale or bluish or is cold or clammy, get help!

4. Check the person's breathing. If it is irregular, or too slow/shallow (less than eight breaths per minute or more than 10 seconds between breaths), get help!

5. If you discover any one of the above problems, stay with the person and call University Police at ext. 5222 or 911. It is important to contact emergency services quickly!

Share these alcohol tips with your friends. If you're worried about your drinking or a friend's, you can take an anonymous online screening. Log onto, click on "counseling" and "self help."