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Having Fun and Playing It Safe

Many Stanford students like to go out with friends and have a good time, which may involve alcohol. While most students drink in moderation, sometimes a night out can lead to an assortment of preventable negative consequences related to high risk drinking and other substance use. 

The NIAAA reports that nationally:

  • 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
  • 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an AUD.
  • About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.

Playing It Safe: Avoiding Alcohol/Drug-Related Problems

Taking some risks is expected and a normal part of the college experience. Setting a few guidelines will help you and your friends to avoid problems that may have a lasting impact on your life and that of your friends. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of harm to yourself or others by:

  • thinking and planning ahead.
  • setting low to moderate drinking and other drug use limits.
  • eliminating unreasonable risks where possible.

Your MAPP to safe drinking

Stanford students use a variety of simple techniques to reduce the risk and potential harm associated with drinking. Research shows that the more techniques a person uses, the less likely he or she will experience negative consequences (e.g., hangovers, regret, memory loss, etc.). There are many risk reducing strategies. One easy way to remember a few is through the acronym "MAPP".

Measure: Measure and pour your own drinks whenever possible. This also means counting how many STANDARD drinks you have had. 

Alternate: Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Every registered party should have EANABS available. 

Pace: As a general rule, 1 alcoholic beverage per hour is a safe bet. More importantly, track your personal BAC to know how you should pace out your drinking. Download our Cheers OAPE app to do this on the go!

Plan: Before you start drinking, make a plan for how you are going to get there and back safely, decide on a designated driver, how much you plan to drink that night etc. 

 

There are many other ways to reduce risk while drinking. Take a look at these below: 

  • Choose safe and familiar settings in which to drink.
  • Drink with people you know and trust.
  • Use a designated driver.
  • Know the Bacchus Maneuver.
  • Learn how to say "No thanks" and "No more."
  • Avoid all drinking games.
  • Eat something before and while you drink.
  • Avoid drinking while taking medications.