Many Stanford students like to go out with friends and have a good time, which may involve alcohol. While most students drink in moderation, sometimes a night out can lead to an assortment of preventable negative consequences related to high risk drinking and other substance use.
The NIAAA reports that nationally:
- 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
- 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
- Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder.
- About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
Playing It Safe: Avoiding Alcohol/Drug-Related Problems
Setting a few guidelines will help you and your friends to avoid problems that may have a lasting impact on your life and that of your friends. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of harm to yourself or others by:
- thinking and planning ahead.
- setting low to moderate drinking and other drug use limits.
- eliminating avoidable or high level risks where possible.
Your MAPP to safe drinking
Stanford students use a variety of simple techniques to reduce the risk and potential harm associated with drinking. Research shows that the more techniques a person uses, the less likely he or she will experience negative consequences (e.g., hangovers, vomiting, memory loss, etc.). There are many risk reducing strategies. One easy way to remember a few is through the acronym "MAPP".
Measure: Measure and pour your own drinks whenever possible. This also means counting how many STANDARD drinks you have had.
Alternate: Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Every registered party should have EANABS available.
Pace: As a general rule, 1 alcoholic beverage per hour is a safe bet. More importantly, track your personal BAC to know how you should pace out your drinking.
Plan: Before you start drinking, make a plan for how you are going to get there and back safely, decide on a designated driver, how much you plan to drink that night etc.
There are many other ways to reduce risk while drinking. Take a look at these below:
- Choose safe and familiar settings in which to drink.
- Drink with people you know and trust who can remind you of your limits.
- Add extra ice to your drink to water it down.
- Pay attention to alcohol by volume (ABV). Natty light is not the same as a Lagunitas IPA.
- Use a designated driver and if on campus call 5-SURE to get you home!
- Know the Bacchus Maneuver.
- Learn how to say "No thanks" and "No more."
- Avoid all drinking games.
- Eat something before and while you drink -- preferably within 4 hours of when you plan to have a drink
- Avoid drinking while taking medications and ALWAYS check with your doctor about the risks of drinking on your medications.