Facts about alcohol use
college students die each year from alcohol-related injuries
- 500,000 college students are unintentionally
injured while under the influence of alcohol
- Over 600,000 students are assaulted by another
student who has been drinking
- More than 70,000 students report being victims
of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape
- Approximately 25% of college students report
negative academic consequences due to their drinking (e.g. missing
classes, doing poorly on exams or papers, receiving lower grades)
- 31% of students meet criteria for a medical
diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6% meet criteria for a diagnosis of
Low Risk Drinking Guidelines
There are always risks associated with alcohol and other
substance use (health problems, addictions, accidents). However, many
college students do chose to drink. For those who do, the following
guidelines were developed by the American Medical Association based on
research with the general population. Individual factors may increase
your vulnerability to developing health problems associated with
alcohol use. The guidelines are based on a standard drink (see
definition below). Following the guidelines lowers risk for short and
long-term problems but does not eliminate risk. A Standard Drink
- 12 oz. beer
- 8 oz. malt liquor/ “ice” beer
- 4.5 oz. of wine (12% alcohol content)
- 1.25 oz. shot (40% alcohol content) or 1 oz.
shot (50% alcohol content)
Daily and Weekly Use
- No more than
3 drinks per occasion (women) or 4 drinks per occasion (men)
- Maintain BAC at .06 or less
- No more than
one drink per day (women) or two drinks per day (men)
- No more than a total of 7 drinks per week
(women) or 14 drinks per week (men)
Those at risk with any use (zero use recommended)
- No more than
one drink per hour
- Women who
are pregnant, may become pregnant or are nursing
- People with diabetes, heart problems, liver
problems or other serious health conditions
- People taking medications which may interact
with alcohol (e.g. sedatives, pain medication)
- People experiencing significant emotional
problems/distress or mental health conditions
- People with a personal or family history of
alcohol or substance abuse problems
- People operating motorized vehicles
- People engaged in activities requiring them to
be alert and attentive (e.g. using machinery, engaged in sports
- People who are responsible for the care and
safety of others
- People who are not legally permitted to drink
Warning Signs of an Alcohol Problem
attending to work or school responsibilities due to drinking
- Gulping drinking
- Hiding or denying actual alcohol use
- Increased tolerance to alcohol
- Doing things while you’re drinking that you
- Injuring self or others due to drinking
- Inability to stop drinking or set limits on your
- Legal problems associated with drinking (arrest,
- Continued use despite problems associated with
- Other people expressing concern or complaining
about your alcohol use
Concerned you might have a problem? Take a free,
confidential alcohol abuse screening by clicking here.
How to Help a Friend
The following are some tips on how to help a friend that you
believe might have an emotional, behavioral or alcohol/drug problem.
- Find a good time to talk. This usually means finding
a time when you and your friend are in a private setting without other
distractions (e.g. television turned off) and not under the influence
of drugs or alcohol.
- Tell your friend what you are concerned about.
- Be a good listener. This means being fully attentive
and non-judgmental about what they say to you. Do not minimize or give
simplistic solutions to their problems.
- Help them explore options and potential barriers or
fears about changing.
- If appropriate, encourage them to utilize resources
on campus (R.A., Advisor, Chaplain, Counseling Center).
- Be supportive in helping them get that help. For
example, you might offer to walk with them to make an appointment.
- Follow-up. People will often resist help at first
but will eventually seek help in time. Don’t give up if your friend is
at first reluctant to change or get help.
For more information on how to make a referral to counseling, click on the following link (How
to help a distressed student).
Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO
To go to Bellarmine University's Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO page, click here.