Safe Alcohol Use
Post-secondary students drink more frequently and consume greater quantities of alcohol than their non-student peers. Students drink for a lot of reasons-peer pressure, wanting to have fun, to socialize, to be drunk, being bored or lacking alternatives to drinking, or to make up for times when they could not drink (e.g., exam period). If you choose to drink, for whatever reason, it’s important to know how to stay safe.
|What's in A Drink|
Many people are surprised to learn what counts as an actual drink. In Canada, a ‘standard’ drink is any drink that contains about 13.6 grams of “pure” alcohol. Once you know what a standard drink is you will know how much alcohol you are actually drinking.
One Drink Equals
Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
|Tips for a Night Out|
Eat and drink water before and while drinking alcohol. Try setting a reminder on your phone.
Set a drink limit before you start drinking and stick to it . Try an app to help you keep track of your drinks.
Be aware of how alcohol affects you. Know when you’ve had enough and say so
Arrange a safe ride home before you start drinking.
Try to reduce the number of times you use alcohol each week. Daybreak is another app you can try if you’re looking to cut down or stop drinking.
If you’re playing drinking games, try playing with non-alcoholic drinks.
Top up your own drinks and finish one drink before starting another.
Only get in the car with a sober driver-decide who will be the designated driver before you go out.
Keep your drink with you at all times. If you have any doubts, make or order a new one.
Drink in good company – keep a good friend around.
Keep an eye out for each other – if you see a friend becoming too drunk, make sure they drink water, eat food, and stop drinking alcohol.
Sometimes friends will try to pressure you to drink when you don’t want to. You could use these strategies when telling others why you want to stay sober:
Be the designated driver-your friends will thank you and you will know they got home safely.
Make or order your own non-alcoholic drinks.
Tell people you’re taking medication. Many medications should not be combined with alcohol.
Say you have an a.m. workout. People respect long-term goals and physical challenges.
Tell people you are trying to save money- students understand the financial stress.
Reducing your alcohol consumption or abstaining altogether doesn't mean you have to lock yourself in your room. There are a lot of things to do that don't involve a drop of alcohol.
|Reducing Alcohol Consumption|
Contrary to public opinion, not everyone on campus is drinking. In fact- alcohol consumption is on the decline at Lakehead. It can still be hard to say no in the moment so it’s best to practice what you will say ahead.
Build your drink refusal skills
“ I don’t think I’ll be drinking tonight, I’ve decided to take a break for a while”
“Thanks but I've already had my drink for the night and I'm sticking with water from here on. I've got a research paper to complete in the morning and it's already overdue."
|Binge or heavy drinking, referred to technically as heavy episodic drinking, poses serious health and safety risks. Young adults, particularly post-secondary students, are more susceptible to these risks.|
|When Drinking Becomes Problematic|
Wondering about your own alcohol use? Check out CCSA's Practical Guide to Assessing Your Drinking
Alcohol poisoning is when there’s too much alcohol in your blood, and it causes parts of your brain to shut down. It’s also called alcohol overdose. Alcohol is a depressant. That means it can affect your brain and nervous system to slow your breathing, your heart rate, and other important tasks that your body does. Your liver usually does a good job of keeping alcohol's toxins from getting into your bloodstream. But if you drink a lot in a short time, your liver may not be able to keep up.
Alcohol poisoning can lead to brain damage or death. If you’re with someone who might have drunk too much, call 911 right away.
|Cannabis and the Law in Ontario|
|Cannabis Use and Driving|
|Safer Use Guidelines|
To reduce the health risks from using cannabis:
10 Ways to Reduce Risks to Your Health When Using Cannabis
Substance Use Resources
Breaking Free from Substance Use is an evidence-based wellbeing and recovery support online program, free for residents of Ontario.