Current surveys indicate alcohol is the drug of choice among post-secondary students – findings consistent with nationwide reports listing alcohol as one of the most frequently-used psychoactive drugs.
At Red River College, opinions on the subject vary. Some choose to abstain from drinking, while others consider themselves social drinkers. Some consider booze an important part of daily life, while still others drink only occasionally – but always to binge-worthy levels of excess.
Just as frequency levels can vary, so can the risks or consequences of alcohol use. Drinking may not always lead to harm, but pose a risk to your studies, relationships, health and self-respect – not to mention your criminal record.
The purpose of this page is to help you to rethink how you choose to use alcohol. Consider all factors – only you can decide what’s best for your situation.
To rate your current drinking practices – and more fully inform future decisions – complete the following confidential self-assessments:
What Happens When You Get Drunk?
There’s a good chance you’ll embarrass yourself, lose your lunch and then your self-respect – behaviour that could lead friends and family to think a lot less of you. There’s an increased chance you could become physically violent, engage in unsafe sexual behaviour, or endanger yourself and others by drinking while drunk. And there are long- and short-term health hazards – the most obvious being the threat of overdose.
Blood Alcohol Concentration
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. Though measured in percentages (BAC of 0.10% = one part alcohol per 1,000 parts blood), it can’t be measured solely by the number of drinks you’ve had. Also consider:
- Total amount consumed.
- Rate of consumption: The quicker you drink, the higher your peak BAC. The liver processes alcohol at an average rate of one drink (12-oz. beer, 5-oz. wine, 1 shot liquor) per hour. Exceed this rate, and the leftover alcohol lingers in your bloodstream.
- Body weight: Heavier people often have higher tolerances for booze, as their bodies contain more blood to dilute the alcohol.
- Food consumption: Your bloodstream absorbs alcohol more slowly when you drink on a full stomach.
- Type of alcohol: The stronger the drink, the quicker it’s absorbed.
- Type of mixer: Water and fruit juices slow the absorption process, while carbonated beverages speed it up.
- Temperature: Warm drinks are absorbed more quickly than cold.
- Gender: Women’s BAC’s rise faster than men’s – they have less water in their bodies and more fatty tissue, which isn’t easily penetrated by alcohol.