Lots of Students Drink: Why Should That Matter to Me?
IT IS A SAFETY ISSUE.
Many students who don't have a lot of experience with alcohol use don't know they can easily get in trouble with drinking. If you drink more than one drink an hour, you are a candidate for trouble. Alcohol affects your reasoning, judgment and common sense first and that makes it difficult to think clearly once you start drinking. The less experience you have, the more risky it is for you. First- and second-year students tend to be more at risk. If you choose to drink, think before you drink, make a healthy decision ahead of time about how much you will drink and stick to your limit.
Some Oles are in trouble with their drinking. A 1998 survey found that, of students who chose to drink, some drank for the
to get drunk
to relieve pressure or to escape from their worries
These are all examples of using alcohol to treat a temporary situation, examples of self-medication. They are all signs of early problematic use and suggest examination. If any of these situations have been true for you more than once, you might have a drinking problem.
Drinking affects more than the person drinking; it affects the St. Olaf community. Loss of sleep, disturbance of study time, drinking friends who get sick and have to be taken care of, relationship problems as a result of alcohol use - all of these are problems for significant numbers of St. Olaf students. Drinking and driving is also a significant issue. While these drinkers are a minority, they sometimes cause problems for a significant number of other students and, in some cases, for a majority of students. Many students who responded to our survey indicated that sleep and study time were affected by others who drank alcohol.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Take responsibility for yourself. Learn about the effects of alcohol, talk with your friends about your drinking limits, watch out for each other. Respect the law and the St. Olaf alcohol policy.
Talk to a friend if you think he or she might have an alcohol or other chemical use problem. If you don't know how to do this, contact the Counseling Center (x3062), the Dean of Students Office (x3615) or the Pastor's Office (x3092). They can help you or point you to someone who can be of assistance.
Learn to call for help when you come upon an alcohol or other drug situation that concerns you. Always make a choice on the side of safety. If you find someone who is vomiting or unconscious and you know or suspect he or she has been drinking and are concerned about her/his safety, call for help immediately. Call an ambulance (9-911), campus security (x3666), your area coordinator or an R.A. or a J.C.
Personal safety is a primary concern at St. Olaf. You, your friends, faculty and staff share responsibility for our community and the safety of our members. Please avoid risky behavior and seek assistance when someone is in danger.
ALWAYS MAKE A CHOICE ON THE SIDE OF SAFETY.
We're all in this together. Let's work to make St. Olaf a safer and healthier community.