Reducing your risks
When not to drink
University Policy on Alcohol and other Drugs
One of the keys to a positive experience with alcohol is dosage. Like any other drug,
you want to feel the optimal effect with the least amount. If you had a headache,
you might take one or two aspirin- not ten! The same concept applies to alcohol.
12 oz. of Beer
1 (10-12oz) Alcopop (mike’s hard lemonade, Smirnoff ice)
4 oz. of Wine
1 oz. of 80 Proof Liquor
All of these drinks contain the same amount of alcohol. Your body can process one
standard drink per hour.
How do you know the right amount for you? We recommend that you check out a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) calculator and make sure that your BAC never goes above a .06. Note that gender affects BAC.
To Stay Under .06 % Blood Alcohol Concentration
About one standard drink per hour
You can feel relaxed and social; and puts you at less risk for suffering negative
Mellow feeling. Slight body warmth. Less inhibited. It is illegal for those under
21 to drive at this level of BAC, and can lead to a revoked license.
Driving while ability impaired.
Judgment is somewhat impaired. People are less able to make rational decisions about
Definite impairment to driving and illegal in NYS (DUI).
Reaction time and muscle control is impaired. Social drinkers rarely, if ever, reach
this BAC level. Noisy. Mood swings. Possibly embarrassing behavior.
Balance and movement are substantially impaired. The person has difficulty with normal
walking or talking although a person may think they are fine. Risk of injury. Risk
of choking on vomit.
“Alcohol blackout” likely in which person is unable to recall what happened while
they were intoxicated.
All mental, physical, and sensory functions impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation
from choking on your own vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falling or other
Little comprehension of where you are. Many people lose consciousness, either falling
asleep or passing out.
This BAC is similar to surgical anesthesia.
Most people lose consciousness. Nerve centers controlling the heart slow down.
Fatal BAC in about 50% of the population. Alcohol at this level can paralyze the portion
of the brain that controls breathing and heart rate. Vital functions cease and the
person dies of respiratory or cardiovascular failure. This can happen even when someone
has passed out after drinking a large amount of alcohol very rapidly. Though the person
is passed out, the alcohol in the stomach continues to be absorbed in the bloodstream
causing a fatal dose to accumulate.
The ups and downs of alcohol
When a person consumes moderate amounts of alcohol slowly, the alcohol produces a
mild “up” feeling—we call this a “good buzz.” There is a point when drinking—the point
of diminishing returns, which is a BAC no higher than .06—when the buzz will not get
better with more alcohol. In fact, drinking more alcohol at this point can lead to
more negative feelings—like fatigue. This “up” feeling, followed by a “down” feeling
if you drink too much, has been described as the biphasic response to alcohol.
Reducing your risks
If you choose to consume alcohol, the way to drink for your optimal high is to reach
your buzz slowly and maintain it. This will also reduce the negative consequences
from drinking. Here are some strategies other students who drink have found helpful
for optimizing the positive effects of alcohol and avoiding negative consequences:
- Space and pace your drinking to about one per hour
- Decide before you go out how much you are going to drink
- Count your drinks
- Alternate between non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks
- Drink for quality, not quantity
- Eat before and during drinking
- Make a decision about sex that night before you go out
- Avoid drinking games
- Avoid shots and/or mixed drinks
- Stop drinking when you feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired
- Use a designated driver, walk, or bring cab fare
- Do not mix energy drinks with alcohol - caffeine makes you feel “less drunk” than
you really are, you may drink more than you should-increasing your risk of alcohol
When not to drink
HALT stands for feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, as a general rule if you feel any of these things you should not drink . We may
know to HALT intuitively but it can be easy to forget why HALT is a good idea once
the weekend comes.
- Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to getting too drunk too quickly, so taking time to eat before drinking
is a good strategy.
- Drinking when you are feeling angry or lonely may initially seem like a good idea but as the intellectual processes in your brain
are sedated by alcohol, your underlying emotions will come forward. This means that
drinking when you are feeling in a good mood will generally lead to a good time but
drinking when you are feeling blue will generally lead to feeling worse.
- Drinking when you are run down or tired is never a good idea. Because alcohol is a depressant, adding alcohol to an already
tired body can lead to feeling too drunk and passing out.
Finally, many prescription medications require that you do not drink alcohol at all, or only very moderately. For example, some antibiotics and medications for pain (e.g., Vicodin and codeine) must never be used with alcohol. Also, clinicians recommend alcohol be used only very moderately (no more than two
drinks per week), if at all, when taking anti-depressants. We recommend that you talk with your medical provider about how much and how frequently you drink so that together you can create plans
for safe drinking.
Click here for more information on Alcohol Poisoning
University Policy on Alcohol and other Drugs
Click here for the University’s Policy on Alcohol and other Drugs
Fredonia C.A.R.E.S. [Choice |Acceptance | Responsibility | Experience | Success]
Fredonia CARES is a Counseling Center initiative designed to address alcohol and other
drug (AOD) concerns on our campus. The program responds to the individual needs of
students who have been charged with a violation of the SUNY Fredonia Alcohol and Drug
Policy. Additionally, students who believe they might benefit from examining their
substance use may take part in an appropriate workshop. Students will participate
in a private and confidential consultation regarding their substance use and will
be referred to one of two unique, researched based, experiential workshops focusing
on self-assessment to help better understand the risks and impacts substance use plays
in one's life; and/or individual counseling services. The program respects an individuals'
values and personal choices regarding substance use, while recognizing that with new
information, time to process it, and support for change, most people benefit from
considering behavior change and exploring new beliefs. For more information on CARES
Any student interested in evaluating their alcohol and/or marijuana use may use this
useful assessment and review the results independantly and/or with a member of the
Counseling Center Staff.
What is the e-CHUG?
The e-CHUG (electronic Check-Up to Go) is an interactive web survey that allows college and
university students to enter information about their drinking patterns and receive
feedback about their use of alcohol/marijuana. The assessment takes about 6-7 minutes
to complete, is self-guided, and requires no face-to-face contact time with a counselor
What does it do?
When you access the e-CHUG, you are prompted to enter information about yourself. In addition to demographic
information, it will ask you to enter information about your drinking habits, family
history, and to complete the World Health Organization's AUDIT. After all information
has been entered, you submit the form anonymously. The information you entered is
then validated and processed. The e-CHUG calculates a number of variables and compares your responses to national and local
college norms. Then, your personalized feedback is displayed in an easy-to-read format
The Counseling Center provides a number of support services for those students dealing with alcohol and
other substance abuse issues. For more information on any of these services please
contact the Counseling Center.
Local (Northern Chautauqua County) resources for alcohol and substance abuse. Check this schedule to find times and places for Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help
meetings in Chautauqua County. Learn more about how AA works.
New York Addiction Treatment Center Directory -Treatment4addiction.com provides information about alcohol and substance abuse treatment
centers throughout New York state. It is an online community where individuals can
ask questions to qualified clinicians and participate in forums and blogs.
College Drinking Prevention: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- An excellent resource page on college student alcohol use dedicated to Changing
the Culture of College Drinking.
Rethinking Drinking (NIAAA interactive self-help guide to responsible alcohol use)