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Counseling Center

Division of Student Life and Enrollment

Responsible Drinking

More is not better

Alcohol 101 Video #1

The human body has a biphasic response to alcohol. In low rising amounts it is a stimulant, causing euphoria. However in high falling amounts (Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of greater than .08) it is a depressant, causing among other things feelings of sadness or even anger.

This is in addition to the other increasing predictable effects of alcohol: decreased judgment; reduced impulse control; muscular discoordination, including vision and speech; nausea & vomiting; memory loss; slowed breathing, seizures and even death.

To maintain the "perfect buzz," getting all the benefits from alcohol, but none of the drawbacks. individuals should strive to drink in a way that keeps BAC between .05-07.

Pros/Cons of drinking

Men vs. Women

Alcohol 101 Video #3

Due to biological differences, men and women process alcohol differently. Specifically, women produce 25% less of the enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, that breaks down alcohol in the stomach. This means that in women, more alcohol gets directly into the bloodstream than in men, resulting in a higher Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

For this reason men and women should never try to match drinks with each other. Even if a woman has developed tolerance to the predictable effects  of alcohol due to regularly drinking large amounts, and she appears to be able to "hold her booze," her BAC will reach dangerously high levels before a man. It is high BAC that causes both short-term and long-term negative effects in the body. This is another reason to strive to maintain the "perfect buzz."

Big People vs. Little People

Alcohol 101 Video #4

Due to differences in blood volume, big people and little people can't drink the same either. In a large individual alcohol is more diluted in the blood stream, resulting in a lower Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC); in smaller individuals the alcohol is more concentrated resulting in a higher BAC.

For this reason, big people and little people should also never try to match drinks. This is especially true when a large male and a small female are drinking together.

What is a Standard Drink? 

Alcohol 101 Video #2

Your personal drink count

Party safety

Tail gating tips



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