fbpx

Top 10 Sobering & Surprising Tips about College Drinking

Whether your college-bound student is that responsible kid who doesn't drink or the "black-out or back out" heavy partier, here are ten sobering things they really need to know about alcohol, by physician author Jill Grimes, MD

August 4, 2023

Parents worry about ALCOHOL in college, and with good reason.

If you’re focused on them not drinking and driving, though, let me reassure you that this generation does a far better job than their parents!

Please send them off with an UBER or LYFT gift card to support responsible choices, but meanwhile, let me share the top ten things every freshman needs to know about college drinking:

 

1. College drinking today often starts with doing vodka shots, rather than sipping on beers.

Pro tip: if you stick with beer, the volume tends to fill you up and slow down your consumption enough to keep out of trouble.

 

VC: fikriyat, Curation: Dana Corriel, MD

 

2. If you drink alcohol while you have ADHD medications in your system, their stimulant effect can blunt the early “buzz” and subsequent signs of alcohol intoxication so that you feel nothing (as you have multiple drinks) until suddenly you feel sloppy, unpleasant drunk.

Both Adderall and Vyvanse stay in your system around fourteen hours.

 

 

3. “Black out drunk” means you have a permanent memory gap from when your blood alcohol level rose too high, too fast, which temporarily turned off your brain’s ability to create long-term memories (via shutting down your hippocampus, which converts short-term memories to long-term.)

Not surprisingly, blackouts typically are caused by doing a bunch of shots.

Unfortunately, social media has popularized the rallying cry of “black out or back out” as students head out with the purposeful intent to party hard enough to literally erase their memory,  competing to see who can down the most shots- obviously an incredibly dangerous game.

Side note: if you end up with patchy temporal memory loss, where you remember bits and pieces, (rather than losing a solid block of time) that is referred to as a “brown-out” or “grey-out.”

 

4. A drunk person cannot give consent.

Exclamation!

 

5. You may not realize that someone you are with is, in fact, drunk.

What’s more, they may drink enough tonight to have a black out memory gap tomorrow, which could include having no memory of what you believed was enthusiastic, ongoing, verbalized consent.

Lawyers who specialize in this area generally suggest that you assume anyone drinking ANY alcohol is off limits for physical intimacy because they are unable to give consent.

 

"Even though you may hear “everyone has a fake" - do you want to be the one caught? It’s really not worth it."

 

6. If someone says they don’t remember, they DO NOT remember.

Could they be lying to spare themselves embarrassment?

Yes, but frankly, it’s not your place to judge that- you have literally no way of knowing.

I cannot adequately share the ocean of tears, embarrassment, and terror I’ve seen from young adults (all genders and sexual preferences, lest you assume otherwise) in this situation.

 

7. Passed out means unconscious.

You can wake up a sleeping drunk person by shaking their shoulders a bit and loudly calling their name.

If they do not respond, assume they are unconscious, and you need to seek help immediately.

 

8. Not everyone drinks in college!

Roughly 20% choose not to drink alcohol.

Of the majority that do drink, most actually drink responsibly.

However, since social media is dominated by the hard core “black out or black out” bunch, most students erroneously assume that culture to be the norm.

 

Since social media is dominated by the hard core 'black out or black out' bunch, most students erroneously assume that culture to be the norm. Click To Tweet

 

9. Your BFF that never drinks may choose to help you when you are intoxicated but remember this is a kindness and not an obligation!

Please be aware that your sober friend who is always the designated driver, hair-holder (during puke-fests) and cleaner-upper of physical, emotional and sometimes even legal messes is carrying a heavy burden, even if appears somewhat self-imposed.

 

10. The drinking age is still 21. “Minor in possession of alcohol” consequences vary by state but carry a significant fine of $200-500 with possible community service and temporary driver’s license suspension.

Possession of a Fake ID can range from a slap on the risk (and confiscation of your ID) from a bouncer at a college-friendly bar, to a misdemeanor fine (up to $2000) and/or community service, to actual jail time or even a FELONY charge in some situations and states (like Florida and Illinois.)

Even though you may hear “everyone has a fake” – do you want to be the one caught? It’s really not worth it.

 

Bonus Tip: teach your kid to have an EXIT STRATEGY.

Students should make firm plans before they go out, designating who’s leaving with whom, and have a CODE WORD or phrase with their friend group that means “I need to leave immediately,” no questions asked.

(A pet name works great and is easy to slip into conversation).

“Hey, did I tell you I saw a labradoodle on campus today that looks just like the picture of your dog, Rascal?”)

And if all else fails, consider “accidentally” spilling a drink on the “overserved” party (yourself or your friend) and insist on leaving to get cleaned up.

 

"Even though you may hear “everyone has a fake" - do you want to be the one caught? It’s really not worth it."

 

An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure!

If you’d like more tips and information, including how to recognize and treat alcohol intoxication, and what to do if you’re worried you were drugged or sexually assaulted, check out The ULTIMATE College Student Health Handbook: Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Of Interest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

[SERIES] Stigmatized

Coming Soon: Stigmatized [SERIES]

Coming Soon: Dr. Jay Joshi hosts this limited time series, in which he brings other healthcare professionals to the discussion table, to cover a stigmatizing topic.

[SERIES] Stigmatized

Coming Soon: Stigmatized [SERIES]

Coming Soon: Dr. Jay Joshi hosts this limited time series, in which he brings other healthcare professionals to the discussion table, to cover a stigmatizing topic.

Jamian Reed, DO

Jamian Reed, DO

Introducing Psychodynamic Osteopathy to find health of body, mind, and spirit.

Alina Olteanu, MD, PhD

Alina Olteanu, MD, PhD

Preventing chronic diseases, including mental health struggles, starts in childhood! Healthy children grow into health adults!

Uday Khosla, MD

Uday Khosla, MD

I am a nephrologist who focuses on developing businesses that support physician independence and improve the healthcare experience for both patients and physicians.

Want More?

Be a part of our healthcare revolution. Don't miss a thing SoMeDocs publishes!

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

follow us

© 2024 SoMeDocs. All Rights Reserved.

Soak up our content & grow

Earn CME

Drop your email address below and we’ll email you the link for earning CME (through CMEfy). Please check your spam folder if you do not receive our email. We’ll also add you to our Sunday newsletter, so you can earn more CME credits reading our content!

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For just $10 a month, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sponsor in more doctors.

Interested in subscribing
to our unique content?

Interested in subscribing to our unique content?

I acknowledge that this site is not to be used for medical advice.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”

Site SoMeDocs Logo, square

WANT TO STAY IN THE LOOP?

DON'T MISS A SINGLE CONTENT PIECE.