Safer Drinking Tips
Do you know how much you’re drinking?
Studies on drinking in college suggest that you might not.
On average, college students underestimate how much alcohol they consume and overestimate how much their peers consume.
Those same studies also show that overestimating peers’ drinking is related to drinking more yourself. If you don’t have a good idea of how much that is, you could be drinking a lot more than you think.
There are many myths out there about alcohol, but the truth is that there can be negative, even deadly consequences. Moderation is the key to reducing or eliminating negative consequences and keeping BAC (blood alcohol concentration) in a safe range.
Drink safely and enjoy yourself with these tips:
Have a Plan
Set a limit in advance.
Plan how much you intend to drink before you go out. This will help you make smart choices about when and how much you'll drink.
Eat before drinking.
Having food in your stomach before you drink slows the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. This means you're less likely to get sick or hungover. Some experts recommend choosing foods with protein and fat.
Have a designated driver.
Plan to have a sober designated driver in your group or know who to call when you need a ride home.
Stay in the Sweet Spot to Have a Good Time
Most people can metabolize about one standard drink of alcohol per hour. Try to stay within this pace as you drink to avoid the negative effects of alcohol.
Know how much you've had.
You can't pace yourself if you don't know how much you're drinking! Keep track by measuring your drinks if you're a party and waiting until your drink is empty before having refilling.
Alternate with non-alcoholic beverages.
This helps you space out the alcohol you consume, giving your body time to metabolize the alcohol and rehydrate.
Avoid drinking games.
Drinking games reduce the amount of control you have over what you're drinking. The more you drink, the harder it becomes to follow the rules, and...the more you end up drinking. Opt out of drinking games or make sure you stay in control of how much you're consuming.
And don't forget to check in on your friends.
When a lot of people are drinking together, it's harder to tell who needs help. Stay aware to have a good time out with friends.
- Amount of Alcohol in a Standard Drink
- What is Binge Drinking?
- How to Identify Acute Alcohol Poisoning
- How to Pace Yourself
- Binge Drinking Affects Brain and Memory
More Safer Drinking Tools
Keep track of your drinks and stay in the sweet spot with these safer drinking guidelines.
Not sure if you have a problem with alcohol?
More Campus Health Safer Drinking Resources
- Wildcats Anonymous
- The Red Cup Q&A: Separating Alcohol Fact From Fiction. Current Q&A's | Q&A Archives
- Alcohol and Other Drugs on Living Wild
- Campus Health Alcohol Services and Resources
Build Your Coping Skills
TAO Pathways offers free self-help activities recommended by CAPS to help with stress, anxiety, relationship problems, anger management, problem-solving, communication, or evaluating your alcohol and drug use - without a counseling appointment.
Enroll for free with the enrollment key: CAPS-Cares-520
Talk to Someone at CAPS
At CAPS, enrolled students can receive mental health care, including:
- short-term counseling
- short-term psychiatry
- groups and workshops
- self-paced self-help
- specialty services, including ADHD treatment and evaluation, eating disorder services, Oasis sexual assault and trauma services, LGBTQIA services, and substance abuse recovery
Learn more about getting started at CAPS.
The Facts of Alcohol Use Disorder on Very Well Mind
True or False? Myths about Drinking on responsibledrinking.org.
Drug Use Overview on Very Well Mind
Resources for Responsible Drinking on responsibledrinking.org
Drinking Facts, Quizzes, and Calculators on Drink IQ
Sober Grid: mobile sober community with resources for tracking and sharing progress with others
Sober Tool: track your sober days and how much money you've saved by not buying alcohol
Stressbusters Wellness, U of A Edition: audio tracks, relaxation, meditation, events.
Headspace: Meditation and Mindfulness Made Simple
Stop, Breath & Think: 5 minutes to peace
Ipnos relaxation and sleep tools: relaxation melodies, relaxation meditation, relaxing yoga music, wake-up and sleep-aid clock app
Omvana by Mindvalley: 500+ transformational audios for body, mind, lifestyle, productivity, relationships, hypnosis