Alcohol and Other Drugs
The safest way to do so is to drink to the point of your “happy buzz,” when you are experiencing what you might consider the positive effects of drinking (feeling relaxed, being more social, etc.), but protecting yourself from some of the more negative effects of drinking (drunk crying, blacking out, hangovers, alcohol emergencies). The estimated BAC for a “happy buzz” is between .05-.06% blood alcohol content (BAC). In order to stay in your “happy buzz,” set a limit and count your drinks! If you want to calculate your “happy buzz” window, use this BAC calculator to estimate your personal drink count: https://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/blood-alcohol-bac-calculator/.
- Stick with your personal drink count!
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks (water, sports drink, etc.)
- Don’t leave your drink unattended or accept an open drink from someone else.
- Use the “buddy system” when drinking. (Drink with someone who has similar limits, and a plan to stick to them.)
- Avoid mixing alcohol and sex (more on this in the next section!)
- Abstain if you are driving, arrange for a designated driver, or get an Uber or Lyft!
- Don’t encourage smaller individuals to match drink with larger individuals.
- Don’t encourage females to match drinks with males
- 180 pound guy (5 standard drinks in 2 hours = perfect buzz)
- 120 pound female (5 standard drinks in 2 hours = drunk)
- Strive to stay within NIH lowest-risk drinking guidelines.
- Females: 7 drinks/week
- Males: 14 drinks/week
- Weed and Alcohol
- If you’re mixing weed and alcohol, you’re giving your central nervous system a double whammy, meaning you’re likely to blackout, pass out, or even worse. You could also experience anxiety, hallucinations, and seriously slow reflexes and motor coordination.
- Adderall and Alcohol
- Many people think mixing them would cancel each other out. WRONG. Taking both actually amplifies the negative effects that both drugs have. You can do some serious damage to your heart, including risk of heart attack and stroke damage.
- Check out these pages for more info on weed, Adderall, and any other drug combo you want to know more about:
Consent & Sexual Health
Consent is freely given, without coercion or pressure, and all people involved have to be in a sound, sober state of mind. Remember: a “yes” to one thing does not mean a “yes” to everything. Check in with your partners, especially if they are not expressing clear excitement, enthusiasm, or pleasure! The key to a healthy sexual encounter is mutual pleasure. After all, unless you are trying to make a baby, that is the point, right? But it’s not just about you. The other person deserves to be enjoying themselves too, and if you are initiating anything, it is your job to check in! An easy way to remember all this is F.R.I.E.S.:
It’s always best to talk about what is ok or not ok with a partner before engaging in sexual activity. Here are some ideas, from the UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services website:
- Can I _______ (action) your _______ (body part)?
- I like kissing you. Are you okay with ________ (another activity)?
- Is it okay if I ______ (action)?
However, consent isn’t always as simple as yes or no. For many people, it’s much more complicated. Some examples of “no” can look like: someone acting disinterested, making excuses (I have to work tomorrow…, I don’t like___…), or they can be silent and not making noise. If you have any doubts that someone may not be interested, stop what you’re doing!
A “yes” isn’t as simple as “yes”, either. A lot of people use body language to convey that they like something. Pay attention to that. If someone says “I really like___” or continues whatever you’re doing, that’s a good sign! Still, be sure to check in periodically.
Check out this funny video to help further clarify consent:
For many people, alcohol can create a distortion in perception of social cues. Alcohol can increase your risk of being victimized because it impairs your ability both to perceive and respond to danger. Alcohol might also put you at increased risk for committing sexual assault—impaired judgment might lead you to misinterpret someone’s friendly gestures or flirtation as interest in sex. Use of alcohol can also increase sexual aggression, and heavy drinkers are more likely to commit sexual assault than light drinkers. Alcohol can affect decision-making as well, as lowered inhibitions can lead someone to say and do things they might not say or do when sober.
Alcohol can also make it difficult for an individual to stay physically aroused and reach an orgasm. This is okay! Listen to your body. You can’t, and shouldn’t, force something to happen. (See the “R” in F.R.I.E.S.!)
Ideally, abstaining from drinking when engaging in sexual activity would be best. However, if you do choose to drink, here is a simple way to gauge whether or not you are sober enough to engage in sexual activity consensually: If you are too drunk to drive a car, you are too drunk to give or get consent.
The legal limit for sexual consent or driving after drinking is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than .08%. To estimate your BAC based on how much you have had or plan to have to drink, check out this website: https://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/blood-alcohol-bac-calculator/. If you choose to drink and have sex, be sure that you and your partner are within the legal limit for consent by setting a limit and counting your drinks!
Remember to always wear protection if having sex! This can include a condom, dental dam, and/or birth control. If you want to avoid pregnancy and transmission of STI’s, your best bet is to always use a condom and another form of birth control. There are lots of options! If a sexual partner makes you feel weird or bad about asserting the need for protection or refuses to use protection, they are not ready to engage in a healthy, safe sexual encounter with you or anyone else! If you feel pressured to have sex without protection, that is not consent! Here is a chart with more information on birth control options, in order of efficacy:
For a step by step guide to putting a condom on correctly, check out this video! Condom Demonstration
For more information, contact [email protected], or visit our webpage: https://www.etsu.edu/students/counseling/oasis/about.php