Staying Safe

It's unrealistic to expect that students in college are never going to be in a situation where alcohol is present. For those who choose to drink, or will be in situations where others may be drinking, we encourage you to take a look at the below information to make sure you're making smart choices and staying safe.

Topics on this page include:

  • Sober Alternatives
  • Party Safe
  • Alcohol Poisoning
  • Warning Signs
  • Mixing Drugs

Sober Alternatives

Not everyone wants to drink. And that's okay! For those of you choosing to refrain from drinking, we've compiled a list of 101 Sober Activities right here in Hawaii. Click the link below for a PDF!

101 Sober Activities

Hawaii has some pretty amazing things to do. Thrillist has created an amazing list of things you can do in Hawaii that will keep you active and drink-free. Click the link below to go to their website.

Honolulu Bucket List

Party Safe

Be Safe

  • Make your own drink whenever possible. It's recommended not to accept a drink from someone you do not know.
  • If you don’t see your drink being made, don't drink it
  • Avoid drinks that come from a common source (e.g. punch bowl, igloo container, jug)
  • Never leave your drink unattended. This significantly decreases the likelihood that someone may tamper with it

TIP: Drinking alcohol while taking medication or other drugs can have serious side effects. Make sure to read all labels.

 

PACE YOURSELF

  • Drink slowly. It takes about 20min to feel the effects of one drink
  • Have no more than one drink per hour and alternate drinks with water
  • Avoid carbonated beverages as they increase the absorption rate of alcohol
  • Try to stay away from drinking games

TIP: If someone is pushing alcohol on you when you don't want to drink, try dumping the alcohol in the bathroom sink and refilling the cup with water.

PLAN AHEAD

  • Set a limit on how many drinks you are going to have for the night and stick to it
  • Have a designated driver or arrange for alternate transportation before going out
  • Stay with your group of friends and look out for one another
  • Don’t leave with someone you don’t know
  • Agree on a “safe word” so you can alert your friends if something is not right while you are out
  • Make sure the friends you left with get home safe

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning can be fatal. If someone has had too much to drink or hurt themselves while drinking, call for help immediately and stay with the person until help arrives. In cases of a potential head injury, even if the individual is conscious, he or she must be evaluated immediately.

USE THE ABC's

Call 911 if any one of these signs are demonstrated

  • A (Alert): incoherence; inability to rouse a person; inability to stay awake for more than 2-3min; not waking up after vomiting; vomiting while passed out
  • B (Breathing): slow or irregular breathing, lapses in breathing; weak, rapid, or slow pulse
  • C (Color): skin color is “off” or lips are blue; skin is clammy or cold
  • D (Doubt): individual is unsure what’s happening; possible head injury; individual may have used other drugs

WHAT TO DO

  • Call 911 immediately. The EMT’s will evaluate the individual to determine whether hospitalization is necessary. When someone’s health or safety is in question, it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Turn the person on his or her side to keep their airways clear. If the individual is lying on their back or stomach, they may choke or suffocate on their vomit.
  • Stay with the individual until help arrives.
  • Provide factual information to EMT's when asked, including how much the individual had to drink. Their life is more important than worrying about whether or not someone will get in trouble.

WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Do NOT assume they’ll “sleep it off”. The individual may be unconscious, not sleeping. While the individual may seem okay, the alcohol ingested takes time to be absorbed before peak levels are reached in the brain.
  • Do NOT give the person anything to eat or drink, including water. This could trigger shock and worsen their condition.
  • Do NOT put the person in the shower. The shock of the water could make the individual pass out or fall. 
  • Do NOT leave the person alone. They may vomit or pass out, both of which can have severe consequences if left unattended.

Warning Signs

Any one of these consequences is reason enough to evaluate your relationship with alcohol:

  • Damaged relationships
  • Poor academic performance
  • Minor-in-Possession (MIP) ticket or other trouble with authorities
  • Fights/conflicts with others
  • Property damage
  • Regretted sex
  • Injuries under the influence
  • Hangovers or not feeling energetic enough for homework the day after drinking
  • Memory loss (blackouts, brownouts, fade outs)
  • Frequent intoxication
  • Heavy consumption
  • Two sets of friends: those you drink with; and those you don't
  • Trading calories for alcohol
  • Increasing tolerance
  • Negative drinking motivations
  • Behavior changes when sober
  • Visit to the emergency room for alcohol overdose

Mixing Drugs

Combining medications (prescribed or not prescribed) with alcohol can have unpredictable and unwanted consequences. We can help ourselves, our friends and our community by understanding the dangers and taking steps to prevent harm.

DEPRESSANTS (Xanax, Valium) combined with alcohol have a synergistic effect, with potential for dangerous and even lethal consequences, with rapid onset of dizziness, stumbling, loss of sphincter control, memory loss and potential death.

STIMULANTS (e.g., Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta) combined with alcohol conceal  alcohol’s effects, so people cannot gauge their level of intoxication, which can result in over-consumption, e.g. significant impairment of coordination and judgment, black out, pass out and potential death.

PRESCRIPTION OPIATES (e.g., Vicodin, OxyContin, Tylenol 3 with codeine, Percocet) combined with alcohol can result in slowed or arrested breathing, lowered pulse and blood pressure, unconsciousness, coma, and potential death.

NOTE: It is illegal to misuse prescription medication in the following ways:

  • Continue to use medication when the prescription is no longer valid
  • Use prescribed drugs contrary to the prescription
  • Use prescription drugs not prescribed to you
  • Give or sell prescribed drugs to another person

Misusing prescription drugs can result in conviction with jail time. 

  • When people do not know that there are significant drug interactions and are caught by surprise when they inadvertently drink while using prescription medication
  • When people knowingly combine alcohol with other drugs because they mistakenly believe it will be a “better” or “enriched” intoxication
  • As a tool to facilitate a crime (sexual assault, robbery, etc) by making a victim incapacitated

Contact The Shark Way

Email: kconlon@hpu.edu

Phone: 808.544.1461