Alcohol and Other DrugsAlcohol
Lower-Risk Drinking is:
- Determining the number of drinks you plan to consume before drinking
- Eating before and while you are drinking
- Pacing your drinking to no more than one drink per hour
- Consuming no more than four drinks for women, five for men in one sitting
- Alternating alcohol-free drinks and alcohol drinks
- Avoiding drinking games
- Planning how to get home before going out
- Asking friends for help sticking to your drinking “rules”
- Knowing what is in your drink
- Never leaving a drink unattended
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol depresses the nervous system. This includes the ability to breathe and the gag reflex which prevents choking. High levels of alcohol can stop these functions. Even after someone stops drinking, alcohol is in the system and can be fatal. If you see someone experiencing the following symptoms, call for help immediately:
- Mental confusion
- Semi-consciousness or unconsciousness and cannot be awakened
- Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
- Slowed breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute)
- Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
- Vomiting while "sleeping" or passed out, and not waking up after vomiting
- Get help. Call (212) 854-5555 or 99 on-campus; off-campus call 911.
- Do not leave the person alone.
- Turn the person on her/his side to prevent choking in case of vomiting.
- Always better to be safe than sorry: How can someone be angry at you about caring for her/him?
- Interested in learning more about your own drinking? Take this short self-assessment to assist in understanding your use of alcohol.
BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) is designed to assist you in examining your drinking and other drug-use behavior in a judgment-free environment. BASICS is not an abstinence-only program. Instead, the goals are selected by you and are aimed at reducing risky behaviors and potential harmful consequences. Services provided through the BASICS program are non-judgmental, non-labeling, and confidential. For more information about BASICS at Columbia, check out Columbia Health's BASICS website
Addiction Services Helpline: 1-877-8 HOPE NY
Check out the following Q&As from Go Ask Alice!
Drinking for stress relief — a problem?
Trouble controlling my drinking
Hangover helper — and tips for healthy drinking
If you are a student group/organization, classroom, or residence hall and interested in a Responsible Event Host Training, please fill out and submit the online Request an Alice! Training form.