Did you know?
• That 85.7% of BSC students would prefer not to have drugs available at parties.
• That 74.2% of BSC students have not used marijuana within the last year.
• That 86.3% of BSC students have never been in trouble with the police, residence hall or other college authorities
due to alcohol and drugs.
• Most (87.5%) of BSC students don't believe alcohol is needed to have a good time.
• 67.2% of BSC students have never missed a class due to alcohol or other drugs.
• 79.6% of BSC students consume less than three drinks per week.
*BSC 2010 NDCORE Drug and Alcohol Survey (n=468)
If you choose to make the decision to drink alcohol; remember your only safe and legal option is to not use until age 21. However, if you choose to drink it is important to familiarize yourself with the facts about alcohol BEFORE you choose to drink.
Students drink less as they progress through college. Heavy drinking is most common among first-year college students.
Fact 2: Alcohol is a depressant drug that slows down the central nervous system.
Fact 3: At low doses, alcohol temporarily increases heart rate, creating a mildly stimulating effect.
Fact 4: The liver removes alcohol from the bloodstream at a constant rate of about one drink per hour. When alcohol is consumed at a faster rate, the liver cannot keep up and BAC continues to rise.
Fact 5: The rate at which alcohol leaves the system is constant, regardless of gender, body type and size.
Fact 6: A BAC of .15% makes a fatal car crash 380 times more likely.
Not All Drinks Are Created Equal
If you do choose to drink, it is essential to track how much alcohol you are actually drinking to help you estimate your BAC (blood alcohol concentration). Some drinks may only appear to be ‘one drink', but contain as many as five standard drinks. To calculate your BAC, you need to know what a standard drink is.
Different types of beer, wine and liquor contain unstable amounts of pure alcohol. But a standard drink of any alcohol beverage contains about one-half ounce of pure alcohol.
As a point of reference, a standard drink will quickly raise the BAC of a 160-pound male by about .02 percent. For a male weighing less or a female, a stand drink can raise BAC higher.
Mixed drinks are changeable and can contain numerous "standard drinks," which will raise BAC even higher.
Know Your BAC
Basically, a BAC is your level of intoxication. It is usually expressed in a percentage of your total blood volume. Your BAC rises when you take in alcohol quicker than your body can remove it. As your BAC rises, impairment becomes more evident (poor decision making, emotional responses, reflexes, motor coordination, and balance). At high levels, the involuntary function (breathing, reaction, etc.) of your body can be impacted leading to passing out, blacking out or even an overdose (dying).
It is important to remember that SEVERAL factors influence your BAC, including:
- Rate of Drinking
- Other Rx or non-Rx medications
To calculate your BAC, please see: Rethink Drinking
More Alcohol Isn't Better
Most of us think that more of something is better. However, that isn't always true.
Think of the reasons people may enjoy drinking:
- ‘buzzed' feeling,
- socializing, etc.
The downfalls of drinking are the same for a lot of us, too:
- missed class,
- poor decision-making, etc.
Did you know that almost ALL of the desired aspects of drinking happen at low BACs (.03-.05) and all the negative things happen at higher (.06+). Why?
Alcohol is biphasic; meaning that alcohol, at low doses, is a mild stimulant and at higher doses is a depressant. To get the postivie effects of drinking and avoid the negative effects, a drinker should plan how to not drink past the point of diminishing returns, which occurs when one more drink will not enhance the enjoyable effects of alcohol, but instead would raise the harmful effects of impairment.
Time Sobers You Up
Remember, everyone's BAC rises at different rates; however everyone sobers up at approximately the same rate. A cold shower, coffee, food, exercise or medicine will not sober a person up faster.
If you go to bed at 2 a.m. with a BAC of .20%, let's take a look at the next 14 hours:
||in bed, lightheaded and confused
||nauseous, unable to sleep
||sleeping, but not well
||getting ready for class
||drive to class
||in class - trouble focusing
||judgment still impaired
||mind still hazy, tired
||not hungry, cottonmouth
||in afternoon class - still unfocused
||feeling a little better
||sober at last, but not fully recovered