Thinking of Drinking?

Blood Alcohol Content card with graph to identify how much alcohol can impact you.

If You Choose To Drink...

Set an example!

The key to optimizing the effects of alcohol (and reducing the chance of something unwanted happening) is to reach the 'social zone' slowly and then stay there. That's the green zone on the card to the right. Keeping your BAC below a .06 is another way to think of the social zone.

Here are some ways for you and your friends to stay in the social zone:

  • Set a low-risk limit
    • For MALES* this means no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 per week.
    • For FEMALES* this means no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 per week. 
  • Pace drinks to one or fewer an hour
    • This can be done by avoiding shots and drinks containing more than 1 shot of hard liquor (1.5 oz.)
    • and by not participating in drinking games
  • Keep track of the number of drinks consumed
    • If you want to stick to your limit, you have to know how much you have had
  • Choose to have One Less drink this time
  • Have a plan for how to turn down (or delay) a drink
  • Drink something without alcohol, like water, soda, or juice after every drink
    • This helps you stay hydrated and prevent hangovers
  • Eat food before and during drinking
    • Food in your stomach helps slow down the rate at which alcohol enters your bloodstream
  • Stick with trusted friends and people who don't make drinking the main event and respect your choice to not drink or continue drinking
  • Always check-in to make sure everyone gets home safely (NUhelp App)

* The terms “Male” and “Female” are used due to the way alcohol affects the sexes differently on a biological basis. Research is too limited to provide specific guidance for transgender and intersex individuals.  

If You Choose Not to Drink...

You're not alone!

Choosing not to drink is always an option. In fact, TWENTY PERCENT of all NU undergraduates choose not to drink in a typical week (2017 NCHA). And 1 in 3 First-Year students choose not to drink. (AlcoholEdu for College, 2017)

Choosing not to drink might be best if you:

  • Are under 21, after all it is the law
  • Have a medical condition that can be made worse by drinking
  • Are taking prescription or over-the-counter medication
  • Haven't eaten
  • Are sick, run down or tired
  • Are angry, lonely or sad
  • Have consumed other drugs (illicit, prescription, and OTC)
  • Have a family history of substance abuse or dependence
  • Have an exam, presentation or athletic event in the coming days
  • Are going to be driving soon
  • Are pregnant
  • Have religious or cultural reasons for abstaining
  • Have an allergy to alcohol
  • Just don't want to