Alcohol & Other Drugs Program
Not all University of Idaho students choose to drink. According to the 2017 National College Health Assessment, one in five U of I students report never having used alcohol. For students who do drink, they tend to drink pretty moderately most of the time. Sixty-seven percent of U of I students reported having 0-4 standard drinks the last time they “partied" or socialized. For students who choose to use alcohol, we just want you to be safe.
A standard drink contains approximately 14 grams of pure alcohol and allows us to compare different types of alcohol. For example, a 12-ounce beer has the same alcohol content as 5-ounces of wine or 1.5-ounces of 80 proof liquor.
Each drink we consume increases our BAC by approximately .02, although it varies by weight and gender. If we consume too much too quickly, we are at higher risk of experiencing alcohol-related harm. Keeping track of how many standard drinks we consume and pacing ourselves is an effective strategy for reducing risk.
UI students report using these strategies “always” or “most of the time”:
- Use a designated driver
- Stay with the same group of friends the entire time
- Eat before or during drinking
- Keeping track of drinks consumed
- Stick with one type of alcohol
- Determine in advance not to exceed set number of drinks
- Have a friend let you know when you have had enough
- Alternate non-alcoholic with alcoholic beverages
- Avoid drinking games
- Choose not to drink alcohol
Source: 2015 National College Health Assessment Survey
How can we tell if someone is just really drunk or is experiencing life-threatening acute alcohol poisoning?
When people drink too much too fast, they are at risk of alcohol poisoning. The body is unable to keep up with toxic levels of alcohol and begins shutting down. If any of these signs are present, it could be life-threatening and the person needs immediate medical attention.
- If the person is unconscious and cannot be awoken.
- If their skin is cold clammy, pale or bluish in color.
- If their breathing is slow or irregular, less than one breath every ten seconds.
- If they have vomited while passed out.
If one or more of these signs are present, take the following emergency response steps:
- Call 911 or delegate someone to call.
- Turn the person onto their side in the “recovery position.”
- If breathing stops, perform CPR or find someone who knows how.
- Do not leave the person alone.