Students & Student Groups

Important Terms Regarding Alcohol

  1. Alcohol poisoning

    Drinking too much in a short amount of time can give a person alcohol poisoning, which is a serious medical condition that can result in death. If you think someone has alcohol poisoning, call for help immediately.

    Symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include irregular breathing, excessive vomiting, unconsciousness, and cold, bluish skin. Know what to do in the event of alcohol poisoning by downloading the PDF below.

  2. Alcoholism

    You might think of alcoholism as an adult problem, but it’s a disorder that can start with underage drinking. In fact, if you start drinking before the age of 21, you’re more likely to develop an addiction because your body is still developing. Also, if you have a family history of alcoholism, you may be more likely to develop a problem.

    Symptoms of alcoholism may include cravings for alcohol, repeated, excessive drinking, withdrawal symptoms when cutting back on drinking, and higher tolerance to alcohol.

    Alcoholism can cause many social and health problems. Long-term addiction can lead to life-threatening conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver.

  3. Dangerous drinking

    Drinking an amount of alcohol that causes a problem for you or your friends is considered dangerous drinking. It’s an especially big problem with inexperienced drinkers, such as high school and college students. Teens who engage in dangerous drinking are more likely to damage property, have trouble with authorities, have hangovers, and experience injuries than those who do not.

    Someone who is participating in dangerous drinking may be visibly intoxicated. Dangerous drinking can lead to blackouts, vomiting, and alcohol poisoning.

  4. Peer pressure

    Peer pressure is the influence that people who are about the same age have over each other. It can be both positive and negative. This is a very real pressure that you face every day, but is never a good reason to drink.

    There are many ways to turn down alcohol when being pressured to drink. You can say something like, “No thanks, I don’t want to get kicked off the team,” or “I’m not feeling too well, I’d better not.”

Avoid being pressured into drinking:
  1. Think through the situation. It’s too easy to act first and think later based on what you’re feeling at the time. Think about the consequences. It could save you a headache later, and could even save your life.
  2. Be prepared ahead of time. Know what you will say when tempted with alcohol. Know your values and where you stand on issues like alcohol, drugs, and sex. Then, don’t let yourself down. Stand up for what you believe.
  3. Think of yourself as a leader and take the initiative to walk away. Choose something positive to do instead—a hobby, a sport, or having fun with some friends who aren’t drinking.