Part One of a Seven-part Series on Alcohol and College Women
When it comes to drinking alcohol, the question for most people is not “if ” but “when.” According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 90 percent of Americans 18 and older have had a drink. I’m not saying it’s okay for you to drink if you’re underage. In fact, you’ll discover as you read this series that there are plenty of reasons why you should not. However, if you do choose to drink, follow a few basic rules to keep from getting so wasted that you make decisions that could jeopardize your safety.
- Do not drink on an empty stomach. Load up on high-protein foods like nuts and cheeses. These help your body absorb alcohol more slowly.
- Try to stick to just one drink an hour max.
- Alternate alcoholic beverages with water. Alcohol dehydrates you, which can cause headaches and nausea.
- Do not drink from a bottle or can you did not open yourself. Do not drink a mixed drink you did not mix yourself. A party where the booze is flowing freely is a perfect opportunity for someone to slip drugs into your drink.
- Know the alcohol content of the drink you’re drinking. Many alcoholic beverages are dressed up with sugar and fruity flavors to mask the taste of the alcohol. They go down pretty easily, which means you might drink them faster – and get drunker – than you would drinking a drink where the flavor of the alcohol is not masked.
- Make sure at least one of your friends is the designated sober person. That person should keep an eye on you and call for help if things get out of hand. Then have a back-up plan in case that person decides to start drinking. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety and well-being.
- Do not mix alcohol and drugs.
- Absolutely do not drink and drive or get into a car with someone who has been drinking.
Check back tomorrow for the second part of our responsible drinking series, where we’ll talk about some easy ways to “just say no” without being labeled a party pooper.
Want more information on keeping yourself safe and secure throughout your college years? Check out our book, “Bulletproof: Safety, Security and Self-Defense for the College-Bound Woman.”