Title: Drinking
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020132/00001
 Material Information
Title: Drinking what's normal, what's not
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: University of Florida. Division of Student Affairs.
Kilmer, Jason ( Text )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1999
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00020132
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

What's Normal
What's Not

:,eF 1

It's Normal

Not to Drink

Contrary to popular belief, not all college
students drink. Many college students
have never consumed alcohol.
It's also normal to drink moderately at some
times and not drink at all at others.

Don't drink if:
* You really don't want to.
* You're upset, anxious or angry.
* There's a chance of unintended or unwanted
sexual activity.
* You're pregnant or think you might be.
* You'll be driving.
* You're taking certain medicines occasionally
or routinely. Ask your health care provider for
guidance about drinking and medications.

Blackouts Aren't Normal
Alcohol in the brain causes information to be
processed very crudely. Often it doesn't get
stored. So a person may have "gaps" when trying
to remember something the next day.
Blackouts put a person at greater risk of
alcohol-related injuries or death, unsafe sex.
unplanned pregnancy, violence, acquaintance
rape and legal troubles.

It's Normal to
Drink Moderately
When you drink, it's normal to know your
limits and take steps to stay within them.


Find out how your body processes alcohol.
Learn about blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) and what affects it.


It's tough to know when to stop if your judg-
ment is impaired. Make decisions about your
limit before you start drinking.


And eat while you're drinking. Food in the
stomach slows down alcohol absorption.


Four drinks over 4 hours doesn't mean three in
the first 30 minutes and one 3-1/2 hours later.
Spread them out. Alternate alcohol and non-
alcoholic drinks.


Their purpose is to get you drunk fast. You can
easily exceed your limit. Learn ways to refuse


Keep track of how much you've had.

What Happens

When You Drink?
* Alcohol goes into the stomach and small
intestine, where it is absorbed into the blood-
* In the bloodstream, alcohol quickly travels to
every organ in the body, including the brain.
* Intoxication is measured in terms of blood
alcohol concentration (BAC)-the ratio of
alcohol to blood in the bloodstream.
* As you continue to drink, the amount of alco-
hol in your bloodstream continues to increase.
* The more alcohol the body absorbs, the
higher the BAC-and the drunker the
person gets.

Your Body Knows What's

Normal-and What's Not
* Vomiting, blacking out and passing out are
all clear signs you've had too much to drink.
* A hangover is the body's reaction when a
toxic substance shocks the system. Signs
include a dry "cotton mouth," fatigue, upset
stomach, headache and sore muscles.
* Alcohol-related injuries (falls, motor vehicle
wrecks, etc.) are some of the negative conse-
quences of drinking too much.
* The depressant effects of high levels of
alcohol can simply "shut off" the nervous
system. Breathing will stop and the person
can die.

The liver burns about .016 off of blood alcohol level
in an hour.You canli' ,! drinking coffee,
exercising, vomiting or taking cold showers.

BAC-What Happens?

.02%-Alcohol slows down the nervous system
right away, so people get more relaxed. Reaction
time is impaired to some extent as soon as you
start drinking.
.04%-Reaction time continues to slow. Relaxation
deepens. A "buzz" develops.
.055%-Effects of alcohol change. Good feelings
get less positive: negative feelings become more
negative. Once past this point, negative effects
will continue for as long as you continue

.06%-Brain's ability to process information and
make judgments is impaired.
.08%-Motor coordination goes downhill. May feel
nauseous and throw up.
.10%-Clear breakdown in judgment and motor
coordination, visibly sloppy.
.15%-.25%-High risk of blackouts and injuries.
.25%-.35%-Can pass out. Risk of death.
.40%-.45%-Lethal dose for most.

What's Your Limit?
Several things affect how quickly you become
Your weight. If 2 people of the same gender
drink at the same rate, the person who weighs
less will get more intoxicated.
Your gender. A woman will get intoxicated
faster than a man of the same weight even if
they drink at the same rate.
How fast you drink. The slower you drink, the
slower your BAC will go up.
How much you drink. The effects of alcohol
change once a BAC level of about .05-.06 is
reached. Any positive effects diminish at that
point, while negative effects get worse faster.
The chart shows at what level of drinking this
point is reached.

Don't have more than this number
of drinks in this amount of time.
If you If you If you
drink for drink for drink for
Weight 1 hour 2 hours 3 hours
120 2 2 3
140 2 3 4
| 160 3 3 4
180 3 4 5
200 4 4 5
100 1 2 2
S 120 2 2 2
E 140 2 2 3
S 160 2 3 3
180 3 3 4
Note: This information is not meant to convey
that any drinking is safe.

Signs to Watch for
Keep your drinking in the normal range.
Watch for these signs of unhealthy drinking.
* Do you frequently vomit after drinking?
* Have you had trouble remembering things
that happened while you were drinking?
* Have you ever passed out while drinking?
* Is drinking interfering with your grades or
your job?
* Is your drinking causing problems with a
partner, friends or family?
* Do you spend a lot of money on alcohol?
* Are you drinking more to get the same effect?
* Have you ever had withdrawal (felt sick when
you weren't drinking, and felt better once you
had a drink?)
* Have you injured yourself while drinking?

Tolerance Is a
Warning Sign
Tolerance means that over time you have to
drink more to get the same effect.
A person with tolerance may not show the
same effects from alcohol as someone with
no tolerance. but the tolerant person's BAC is
just the same.
People with tolerance may not realize how
impaired they actually are.
Tolerance is a warning sign that a person is
becoming dependent on alcohol.


301 Peabody Hall


This brochure is not intended as a substitute for your health
professional's opinion or care.
Text: Jason Kilmer, PhD.
1999 ETR Associates. Reviewed 2004. All rights reserved.
It is a violation of U.S. copyright law to reproduce any portion of this

ETR 1-800-321-4407
ml www.etr.org Title No. R041

What's a Drink?
A 12-ounce beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine, a
10-ounce wine cooler and a I-ounce shot of
100-proof liquor have the same amount of alcohol.
After just 1 or 2 drinks, even if not legally drunk,
a person will likely have slower reaction time,
impaired perception and poorer judgment.
These all affect decisions about risky behavior,
such as driving when drunk, violence, unsafe sex,
and riding with a driver who's been drinking.

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