Alcohol has been used for centuries to relax and as part of rituals and rites of passage. Alcohol’s link with college is well entrenched and can cause devastating harm if misused. Problems can be academic, social, legal, or health-related. The more you drink, the greater your risks. And unfortunately, one single incident can lead to irreparable damage. This sheet is about how you can help prevent that harm from occurring to you, and to those you care about.
Reason for Drinking
The vast majority of Stanford students drink lightly, or not at all. This often involves a conscious choice, but can also result from unconscious motivations. Becoming aware of why you drink helps you to make better decisions, and reduces your risk of harm.
Do you drink to:
- Get a break from your daily routine?
- De-stress from academics?
- Reward yourself?
- Because it is available?
- Feel less inhibited in social situations?
- Fit in with others while they are drinking?
- Express feelings that are difficult to express when you're sober?
- Suppress painful feelings such as shame, anger, sadness, or loneliness?
When you use alcohol to repress or deal with life's challenges, you miss an opportunity to grow and to develop effective coping skills.
Side effects of alcohol
- Abnormal behaviour,
- Insomnia or sleeping too much,
- Aggression, and
- Violent mood swings
- Weight gain, especially in the face. Often referred to as ‘moon-face’.
- Loss of libido
The first alcoholism test:
we ask you to think about the following (base your answers on the past twelve months):
- Where is your tolerance level for alcohol? Tolerance is the amount of alcohol you must ingest in order to become intoxicated. The amount of alcohol it takes will increase the longer you drink. The exception is that chronic long-term abuse will eventually lead to a reduction in tolerance due to liver damage.
- Are you having withdrawal symptoms when you slow down or attempt to quit drinking? Withdrawal symptoms can be any or all of the following: tremors, nausea, anxiety or insomnia. Do you drink more alcohol to avoid these symptoms?
- Have you ever drunk more alcohol than you have intended or over a longer period, such as a binge?
- Have you wanted to quit drinking before and been unable to?
- Do you spend a lot of time consumed with drinking issues, such as buying the alcohol, drinking alcohol or recovering from the affects of alcohol?
- Have you given up an important event like a wedding or dinner party in order to drink?
- Do you continue to drink even though you know it is having a negative impact on your life? Things like your health and personal relationships that are suffering.
- Answering yes to two or more of the above questions could mean that you (or someone you know if you’re following this on their behalf) are suffering from alcoholism.
Following are some alcohol alternatives to try:
ü Talking with close friends and family
ü Stress reduction techniques
ü Going to a movie with friends
ü Eating some dark chocolate (it’s actually good for you!)
ü Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief
ü Professional help
How To Prevent Harm
Here are "alcohol first aid tips" to help you prevent harm from too much drinking:
Ø Never drink when you are sad or upset
Ø Don’t over drink; set limits beforehand (no more than 4 drinks)
Ø Avoid hard liquor and shots
Ø Alternate a non-alcoholic drink (water) between alcoholic drinks
Ø Set up a buddy system, and stay together (don't abandon intoxicated friends or let them wander away; make sure they get home safely)
Ø Don't let someone drive or even ride their bike home if they have had too much to drink.
Ø Call AMBULANCE for help if an intoxicated person can't be awakened or is unresponsive (it's more important to save a life than worry about the cost, hassle and embarrassment of an Emergency Room visit)
v Are you worried that a friend's (or your own) alcohol consumption is a problem?
v Has drinking become automatic or excessive?
v Is there trouble with academics, friends, accidents or injuries, or the University or police?
v Some students with alcohol problems can regain control by deliberately planning ahead to avoid alcohol-related consequences.
ü But some students need professional help
For Psychological Counselling please contact us
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