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When it comes to alcohol, know your limits

by Gail DeCina
Substance abuse and prevention treatment specialist

Lynn has a week of events planned for National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) is Oct. 9–12.

Attend these sessions:
Speaker in recovery, Oct. 9, noon, Henke Wing
Drug match game, Oct. 10, noon, Student Center lobby
Alcohol demo and mocktails, Oct. 11, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., Perper Plaza
Alcohol, drugs and relationships, Oct. 12, noon., Henke

Brush up on these tips and facts about alcohol consumption:

Do you know what’s in your drink? Drink measurements vary from one pour to the next.
Each of these equals one drink:
• 12 oz. beer/5% alcohol,
• 5 oz. wine/12% alcohol
• 1.5 oz. shot/40 % alcohol
Do you know what you can handle?
How many drinks + the number of hours you consume alcohol + your weight + your gender = your blood alcohol level.
Get your own blood alcohol concentration card at the Counseling Center.

Tips to keep you safe:
• Keep track of the number of drinks you consume.
• Count and measure drinks, and pace and space them—ideally one drink per hour. (Anything beyond that, and your liver begins to build up to a toxic level.)
• Eat a full meal before drinking.
• Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, or water preferably, to keep hydrated and lower your blood alcohol level.

If you or someone you know drinks to excess, watch for symptoms of alcohol poisoning:
• Being semi-conscious or unconscious
• Cold, clammy or bluish-tone skin
• Slow, shallow breaths of less than eight breaths per minute
• Dazed and disoriented
• A strong odor of alcohol
• Excessively loud snoring
Remember: A person does not have to have all of these signs/symptoms to have alcohol poisoning.

If you suspect a person has alcohol poisoning
• Call 911/Campus Safety.
• Turn the person on his or her side to prevent them from choking on their vomit.
• Stay with the person until help arrives.
Do not:
• Put them in a cold shower.
• Give them anything to eat or drink.
• Walk them around.

Lynn’s Amnesty Policy: If you get help for someone due to alcohol or other drugs, even if you are underage or under the influence, neither you nor the person you help will receive a sanction for that action. Do not be afraid to call for help. You may even save a life!

Don’t drink (or text) and drive!
A DUI can cost up to $10,000.

In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes—that’s one every 51 minutes. If you are under the influence of a substance and someone is hurt or dies, you can be criminally charged and spend up to 15 years per death in a maximum security prison. It happened to Mark Sterner and Eric Smallridge, college students who drank and drove, were criminally charged and sentenced to a maximum security prison.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’ve been drinking, take a taxi, Uber, Lynn’s Safe Ride (1-800-675-6349); get a hotel room; or stay at a friend’s house.

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