What Do You Know About Alcohol?



It is estimated that alcohol is involved with:

  • 29% of drop outs
  • 38% of academic failures
  • 64% of violent behaviors
  • 66% of unsafe sexual practices
  • 75% of acquaintance rapes
  • As students' average number of drinks per week goes up, grades in class go down.
  • Drinking and driving is still the #1 killer of those under the age of 21 in Ohio.
  • Three people die every day from alcohol overdose - the majority are under 21.

Approximately 360,000 undergraduates in the U.S. will die from alcohol-related causes while in school, which is more than the number who will receive their master's or PhDs COMBINED.

Learn more about alcohol by clicking
on the following links:

 

What type of drinker are you?

How many drinks does it take to impair your driving?

What are the differences between men and women in regards to alcohol?

Do you know someone with a drinking problem?

Additional referrals and references


What type of drinker are you?

A social drinker typically:

  • Drinks Drinks slowly (no fast gulping)
  • Knows when to stop drinking (does not drink to get drunk)
  • Eats before or while drinking
  • Never drives after drinking
  • Respects nondrinkers
  • Knows and obeys laws related to drinking

A problem drinker typically:

  • Drinks to get drunk
  • Tries to solve problems by drinking
  • Experiences personality changes, may become:
  • loud, angry, or violent OR
  • silent, remote, or reclusive
  • Drinks when he or she shouldn't - before driving or going to class or work
  • Causes other problems - harms himself or herself, family, friends, and strangers

An alcoholic typically:

  • Spends lots of time thinking about drinking and planning where and when to get the next drink
  • Keeps bottles hidden for quick pick-me-ups
  • Starts drinking without conscious planning and loses awareness of the amount consumed
  • Denies drinking
  • Drinks alone
  • Needs to drink before facing a stressful situation
  • May have "blackouts" - can't remember what he or she did while drinking although he or she may have appeared "normal" to people at the time
  • Goes from having hangover to more dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium tremens ("DTs"), which can be fatal
  • Has or causes major problems - with police, an employer, family, or friends.

How many drinks does it take to impair your driving?

Drinking and driving is still the #1 killer of those under the age of 21 in Ohio.

THE TABLE BELOW IS FOR WOMEN
Shows approximate Blood Alcohol Percentage per drink based on body weight.
(Subtract 0.01% for each 40 minutes of drinking.)
One drink is 1.25 oz. of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer, or 5 oz. of table wine.

Be safe, and make good decisions.  

Designate a driver at the beginning of the night
who will remain SOBER for the entire night.

Drinks

Body Weight in Pounds

90

100

120

140

160

180

200

220

240

Driving Limit

0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Safe driving limit

1

0.05

0.05

0.04

0.03

0.03

0.03

0.02

0.02

0.02

Impairment begins

2

0.10

0.09

0.08

0.07

0.06

0.05

0.05

0.04

0.04

Driving skills
significantly
affected -
Possible criminal
penalties

3

0.15

0.14

0.11

0.10

0.09

0.08

0.07

0.06

0.06

4

0.20

0.18

0.15

0.13

0.11

0.10

0.09

0.08

0.08

5

0.25

0.23

0.19

0.16

0.14

0.13

0.11

0.10

0.09

6

0.30

0.27

0.23

0.19

0.17

0.15

0.14

0.12

0.11

Legally intoxicated

Criminal penalties

7

0.35

0.32

0.27

0.23

0.20

0.18

0.16

0.14

0.13

8

0.40

0.36

0.30

0.26

0.23

0.20

0.18

0.17

0.15

9

0.45

0.41

0.34

0.29

0.26

0.23

0.20

0.19

0.17

10

0.51

0.45

0.38

0.32

0.28

0.25

0.23

0.21

0.19


What about the differences between
men and women when it comes to alcohol?

Some things are the same, such as:

Decision-Making

"It's funny, because we know we shouldn't drink too much, we know that if you go beyond your limit you could get into a bad situation, we know never to drive our cars after we've been drinking, on and on.   I guess, sometimes when you drink too much, you forget what you know..."

Many things are different, such as:

The Effects of Alcohol

"I was playing quarters at a party last week.   Most of the people playing with me were guys, no big deal, right?   So anyway, we had played for about an hour, and all the guys are laughing having a great time, and all of a sudden it hit me.   I mean, I was really drunk..."

  • Women may become more intoxicated than men after drinking the same amount of alcohol, even when they weight the same.  
  • The weight of a person greatly affects the distribution of alcohol through the bloodstream.  
  • The smaller the person, the less room for alcohol to distribute itself, hence, the alcohol is less diluted upon reaching the brain.
  • A woman can get intoxicated more rapidly than usual right before her period because of the change in her body's ability to break-down alcohol.
  • In some of the most recent research, it has been discovered that women have far smaller quantities of the protective enzyme dehydrogenase that breaks down alcohol in the stomach.  
  • A woman will absorb about 30% more alcohol into her blood than a man of the same weight will who has drunk an equal amount.  
  • In other words, one drink for a woman can have approximately the same effect as two drinks for a man.

For Women and Too Much Alcohol, There Are Special Concerns

Health Issues

"I mean, we're talking about my body here.   My friends and I spend all this time trying to be healthy.   Weeat well, we work out, we watch our weight.   That's why I have a hard time understanding when some of the people I know go out and really abuse alcohol two, three times a week..."

  • Alcohol abuse can result in the body's inability to use vitamins and calcium.
  • Continued abuse can result in dull skin and hair, aggravated acne and dandruff.
  • A woman's body is affected at a faster rate than a man's in terms of long-term alcohol use.  
  • Heavy drinking can cause anemia, malnutrition, stomach irritation and low resistance to disease.  
  • Women typically develop cirrhosis of the liver with a shorter history of excessive drinking.
  • Research shows and the Surgeon General warns that alcohol use while pregnant may have negative effects on the development of the child.
  • There are strong ties between alcohol abuse and breast and neck cancer in women.
  • Alcoholism appears to progress much more rapidly in women than in men.

Emotional Issues

"Most of the time I just deal with life, you know.   But there are nights when it seems I can't fall asleep no matter how hard I try.   There are days when all I want to do is stay in bed.   I suppose everyone goes through this, but sometimes I feel like the choices today are so overwhelming..."

  • People who are suffering emotionally frequently use alcohol or other drugs as an attempt to escape, to self-medicate.   Depression often precedes alcohol use.
  • Women are more likely to be involved with other prescription drugs, using 50% more than men do.   Women who combine alcohol with other drugs are at a much higher risk, not only of addiction, but other dangers that result because of mental and motor impairment.
  • The suicide rate among women with alcohol problems is higher than that of the general population.

Do you know someone with a drinking problem?

If you are trying to figure out whether a friend has a drinking problem,
you need to evaluate:

  • changes in his or her drinking behavior
  • the reasons for his or her drinking
  • the impact of your friend's drinking on his or her relationships, studies, and goals

Talking to the Drinker
If you care, show your concern. Don't be too polite to bring up the topic, but be tactful. Ask whether the person feels he or she has a drinking problem and continue asking questions that encourage frankness.   Avoid sermons, lectures, and verbal attacks.  Keep an open mind about how the person evaluates his or her situation. And know your own limits - don't continue the discussion if you start getting impatient or angry. You may find that short, periodic discussions of the problem work best.

Say something to him or her:

  • when your friend is sober
  • when your friend can concentrate on what you're saying
  • use "I" statements -
  • "I care..." about you as my friend, boyfriend, etc.
  • "I see..." identify specific drinking behaviors you have observed that concern you
  • "I feel..." worried, scared, angry, afraid, etc.
  • "I will..." support you
  • Don't expect immediate change

Once you have raised the subject, the person may respond defensively , deny having a problem or agree that he or she has a problem with alcohol.

Dealing with Defensiveness
Make it clear to the problem drinker that you dislike the behavior, not the person.   If you drink, be honest about your own drinking and attempts to control it.   Understand that the person's defensiveness is based on fear of facing the problem and isn't directed at you.

Dealing with Denial
If your discussions have no effect on your friend's drinking behavior, you should still tell him or her how the drinking problem affects you.   For example, you can say how hard it is for you to enjoy going out together to a party because you are afraid he or she will get sick, pass out, or otherwise embarrass you both.

Dealing with Agreement
If at some point your friend agrees that drinking is creating personal problems,
you may want to ask:

  • Why do you think you have a problem with alcohol?
  • What do you think you can do about it?
  • What are you going to do about it?
  • What kinds of support do you need from me to stop or limit your drinking?

You should have referrals ready for your friend.


Referrals and References

Monica Yost, Women's Health Advocate
FSM Center for Women

(216) 368-0985

(Joy Wilmott)
University Counseling Services

(216) 368-5872

Collegiate Behavioral Health

(216) 368-2510

University Health Services

(216) 368-2450

Housing, Residence and Greek Life

(216) 368-3780

American Council on Alcoholism
Nationwide HelpLine, toll free

1-800-527-5344

Al-Anon Family Group HQs U.S. Meeting Information
(for relatives and friends of an alcoholic)

1-800-344-2666

National Council on Alcoholism

1-800-NCA-CALL

Information on this page taken from:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Erenberg and Hacker, Last Call , 1997
1997 College Alcohol Survey
The Core Institute at Southern Illinois University
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
American College Health Association
The BACCHUS & GAMMA Peer Education Network
F.A.C.E. - Facing Alcohol Concerns through Education
American College Health Association

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