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Alcohol

The Well for Health Promotion provides a range of programs and services that address substance use among Tulane students. The aim of our substance abuse prevention programming is to increase self-protective factors and decrease negative consequences related to substance use, increase knowledge related to perceptions of substance use on campus and how they compare to actual use, and promote healthy and safe behaviors that foster overall well-being. 

Alcohol Culture at Tulane: 10 Years of Progress

Every member of the Tulane community is expected to make responsible choices regarding alcohol and other drugs. The misuse or abuse of these substances can result in detrimental consequences for individuals and those around them. At Tulane, we expect our community members to cultivate a healthy and safe educational environment that supports each student to reach their full academic potential.  Over the last 10 years, Campus Health has taken been a leading force focused on alcohol misuse and abuse prevention at Tulane.

Please review our timeline to learn more.

Resources, Programs, and Research

Learn more about resources, programs, and research surrounding alcohol and alcohol use in the college population.

Common Alcohol Acronyms

BAC stands for Blood Alcohol Content, which is the percent of alcohol present in the blood. Factors that affect BAC are body mass, percent body water, birth sex, metabolism, food, and medications/drugs. 

HALT is a handy acronym for feelings that may prompt you to pay more attention to your mental state. Sometimes we do things out of habit and we don't really stop to think about it. Most people know it is important not to drink when you are pregnant but there are also other times when it is best to pass on alcohol. Aside from its meaning, “stop,” HALT stands for the following triggers: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Being aware of these feelings, what they mean, and the role they play in urges to use substances can be really helpful. 

  • Hungry - Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to getting too drunk too quickly, so taking time to eat before drinking is a good protective strategy. 
  • Angry/Lonely - Drinking when you are feeling angry or lonely may initially seem like a good idea, but as the intellectual processes in your brain are sedated by alcohol, your underlying emotions will come forward. Drinking when you are in a good mood will generally lead to a good time, but drinking when you are feeling down will generally lead to feeling worse. 
  • Tired - Drinking when you are run down or tired is never a good idea. Alcohol is a depressant, so adding alcohol to an already tired body can lead to feeling too drunk and passing out. 

Choosing to Consume Alcohol

If you choose to consume alcohol, drink slowly to reduce the negative consequences. Here are some strategies other students who drink have found helpful for optimizing the positive effects of alcohol and avoiding negative consequences:

  • Know what a standard drink looks like.
  • Keep track of how much and how often you drink.
  • Make your responsibilities are taken care of prior to going out (i.e. homework).
  • Find alternative sources of entertainment.
  • Decide before you go out how much you are going to drink.
  • Alternate between water and alcoholic drinks.
  • Drink for quality, not quantity.
  • Eat before and during drinking.
  • Make a decision about sex that night before you go out.
  • Ensure you have a safe way to get home (i.e. designated driver, Uber, etc.).

Party Smart
  • Eat food before heading out and while drinking. 
  • Stay hydrated by alternating alcoholic beverages with water. 
  • Try to use cash, save your credit card for emergencies.  
  • Pace your drinking and take a break in between each one. Keep track of how many drinks you have. 
  • Have a plan in place before you go out, including where you're going, what you’re drinking, and who you’ll be with.  
  • Designate a sober driver.  
  • Don't let drinking be the primary focus of the night. Do other things like board games, cards, and dancing. 
  • Watch your drink and don't leave it unattended. Get a new drink if you set it down and walk away for a while. Don't take a drink from someone you don't know. 
  • When possible, make and measure your own drinks.  

Designate a Sober Driver
  • Travel in pairs or groups. Don't go anywhere alone and don't leave anyone behind.  
  • Stop a friend from driving drunk. 
  • Speak up. Let your friend know you are concerned and don't want anyone to get hurt. 
  • Take your friend's keys. Stay calm; don't embarrass your friend. 
  • Find other ways home. Get a rideshare or bus, call a sober friend, walk with your friend, or spend the night if you're comfortable. 
  • Be persistent. Don't give in!