When alcohol is involved, it can be all too easy to cut loose and lose control of your facilities and good sense. Over-intoxication can lead to a number of risky behaviors and dangerous situations. In the spirit of Smart Partying Week, Wellness Centre Coordinator Meaghan Hagerty shared tips that ensure you and your friends will have fun safely. “In an effort to save money, you might do some pre-drinking before heading out to the club. While your economic efforts are valiant, you are putting yourself in danger of alcohol poisoning which is bad news for your night, your health and your safety,” Meaghan said.
“Excessive alcohol consumption has a ripple effect of repercussions. It not only creates long-term academic issues; there are far deadlier consequences such as accidents, injuries, unsafe sex, property damage, drunk driving and brushes with the police. Furthermore, an increase in alcohol consumption equates to an increase of assault and sexual violence,” Meaghan cautioned.
Above all, you don’t need alcohol or drugs to have fun. However, if you do decide to drink, make wise choices to safeguard yourself. Meghan continued, “Remember that your body can only process one drink per hour. Drinking on an empty stomach means the alcohol will get into your bloodstream much faster and that a full stomach slows the pace of alcohol absorption. Drink water in between alcoholic beverages and keep track of how much you have consumed.”
The Wellness Centre compiled a number of tips to ensure that your night out is one to remember (for all the right reasons).
If you are throwing a party, be a responsible host:
- Offer non-alcoholic beverages
- Provide snacks or meal options
- Arrange a designated driver
- Post a sign with numbers to local cab companies
Whether you’re at a party or the club:
- Avoid drinking games and an excess of shots
- Refrain from mixing drugs with alcohol
- Trust your judgment
- Avoid the temptations of peer pressure
- Set a drink limit and stick to it
- Pace yourself
- Avoid conflict
- Refuse to leave with someone you don’t know
- Communicate with friends about changed plans
- Refrain from posting anything on social media while intoxicated
- Pour your own drinks, watch your drink and don’t accept drinks from strangers
- Have a Plan B on how to get home safely.
Is someone suffering from alcohol poisoning or a drug overdose? Check the signs:
- Unconscious, semi-conscious or cannot be awoken
- Skin is cold or clammy and has a pale or bluish colour
- Slow breathing, less than eight breaths per minute or lapses between breaths of more than eight seconds
- Vomiting while ‘sleeping’ or passed out, and not waking up after vomiting
How can you help?
- Call 911
- Roll them into the recovery position–on their side to prevent choking in case of vomiting
- Do not leave the person alone
- Ask for help
- Do not let a crowd gather around the person
“Making time to socialize and celebrate is essential for a healthy student balance,” Meaghan said. “However, before you decide to unwind by cracking open that beer, consider safety measures for you and your friends to ensure that this party won’t be your last.”
Smart Partying Week runs from March 13-17. The Wellness Centre is hosting Smart Partying Trivia Night at The Den on Wednesday, March 15 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Test your smart partying knowledge and enjoy free appetizers and soft drinks.