Campus Safety: Raising awareness on alcohol safety and drinking culture

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You are 21. You just had a big exam that you studied weeks for and it went out well. You decide to go to a pub with your friends. It's 1 am. You are dancing. You had a couple of drinks. It's not the first time you were drinking, and you know you can handle your alcohol. It's 2am. Your head is spinning. You no longer see your friends, and you do not feel right. You continue to dance. You passed out after some time. 

It's the next day. You wake up in a bathtub with cold water. You do not know where you are. You try to move but feel a sharp pain. You find a note with a phone number and a phone near you. You call that number. An ambulance came and took you to a hospital. You passed out again and wake up two days later in a hospital bed. You are told that one of your kidney has been removed. You did not realize it. You were too drunk. Just too drunk. 

In the UK,  the project under 25 aimed to prevent underage people from buying and consuming alcohol; but UK has a drinking culture and according to a statistics by Alcohol Change UK; 24% of adults in England and Scotland regularly drink over the Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines [1, 16], and 27% of drinkers in Great Britain binge drink on their heaviest drinking days. Universities and campuses really do have a drinking culture and students mostly have a night out on Thursdays and Friday nights. With alcohol, things do get a little heated and messy and it's always a good idea to be safe.

Here are some tips and hacks on alcohol safety.

  1. Watch your drink.

This should be repeated again and again, but do watch your drink else it can get spiked. It's so easy for someone to spike your drink, if you drowsy, tipsy or drunk. Pour yourself a drink, and do not take drinks for strangers. Date rape drugs are real!

2. Buddy system. 

People go to pubs for different reasons, but it is always a good idea to go in groups. In case of trouble, you can stick together and watch out for each other.

3. Watch your alcohol

If you do not want to wake up completely hammered, keep a tab on how much you are drinking. Eat before drinking and if you do not want to be drunk, then it's advisable to drink a glass of water after one drink. You can also alternate one alcoholic drink with another non-alcoholic drink

4. Don't drink and drive

There is no exception to this; just don't drink and drive.

5. Know the dangers of binge drinking and don't mix things up!

Avoid mixing things up and do not mix drugs/smoking with alcohol.

Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men over a short period of time. About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.

Binge drinking is associated with many health problems such as

  • Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning.
  • Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth.
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
  • Memory and learning problems.
  • Alcohol dependence

6. Alcohol poisoning- is that a thing?

Take note: Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex and potentially lead to a coma and death.

7. Bring the essentials… AND NOTHING ELSE.

The title is self- explanatory. Bring the minimum. Keep your phone with you at all times.

8. Trust that gut feeling.

If you sense that something is wrong, then it is.

This post is too show that alcohol MUST be consumed in moderation. Students often forget that safety is and will always be important. Whenever you smell alcohol, always remember that your safety comes first; do not compromise with your safety. 

There is no exception to this ; just don't drink and drive.