Drinking alcohol may be a common social activity, but you don’t have to drink to have fun! In fact, many students choose drink moderately or not at all. If you do decide to drink, make sure to plan ahead, be aware of your surroundings, and know when and how to seek help if needed. Know your limit to stay safe if you decide to drink.
1. Plan ahead
Plan in advance to ensure your safety. Set a limit on how many drinks you’ll have, knowing where and with whom you are going to be. Make sure you have a safe ride home, important phone numbers and sufficient pocket money to get to where you need to go.
2. Pour your own
Pour and measure your own drinks whenever you can and maintain standard drinks sizes.
3. Keep count
Keep track of how many drinks you’re consuming. Limit your consumption to one drink every 1-1/2 hours. Avoid drinking games that encourage bingeing.
4. Balance eating and drinking
Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic beverages. Eat some food before you drink and/or while you’re drinking.
5. Choose one
Avoid mixing alcohol with other substances. Mixing alcohol with drugs with can increase the chance of overdose and other health complications.
6. Keep your friends close
Stay with the same group of friends so that you’re looking out for each other. Ask a friend let you know when you’ve had enough.
7. Understand consent
Any form of intimacy with another person requires clear, verbal and voluntary consent. Consent must be given, not taken, and can only be given while lucid and alert. Consent is key.
8. Don't drink and drive
Not drinking any alcohol is the safest way to drive. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration level over 0.08 is a criminal offence.
Learn the signs of alcohol poisoning
- Cold, clammy, pale or a bluish skin tone
- Slow (less than eight breaths/minute) and/or irregular breathing
- Vomiting while passed out; not waking up after vomiting
How to help a friend who is impaired
- Stay by their side
- Try to get them to drink water/juice as long as they are conscious
- Contact trusted, sober friends or family members for support
- Make sure they get home safely
- Call 911 for medical attention if necessary
- If unconscious but breathing, help them get into the recovery position. This will keep their airway clear and open and ensure they don’t choke on vomit or fluid.
If you need help or have questions related to alcohol use, contact these resources:
Fire, Police, Ambulance 9-11
Campus Police (urgent) 416-978-2222
Health & Wellness Centre
Drug and Alcohol Helpline
Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Good2Talk Postsecondary Helpline