Safer Drinking

Before You Decide to Drink

When deciding to drink or not, it is helpful to consider your personal risk factors, which may include: your ability to limit your alcohol intake, whether you have a family history of alcohol abuse, and whether you have had negative experiences as a result of past use.  It is also important to consider what could happen as a result of use, so that you can make decisions to be safer and healthier. In addition to social and health risks, there can also be legal ramifications for choosing to consume alcohol, whether you are under or over 21 years of age. Be sure to brush up on policies in your area and at George Mason.

Drink in Moderation

If you choose to drink, it is recommended that you consume no more than 1 drink a day for females and 2 drinks a day for males.

Do not drink at all if you are:

  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Recovering from alcoholism or unable to control how much you drink
  • Taking medication or using other drugs
  • Having problems when you drink
  • Diagnosed with a condition worsened by alcohol
  • Driving, planning to drive or participating in activities that require you to be alert and coordinated

Safer Drinking

  • Don’t drink too much: Before you start drinking, decide how much you are going to drink.  Drink at your own pace and not your friend’s.
  • Slow down: It’s not a race.  Chugging is a bad idea, because your body can’t handle large amounts of alcohol without negative consequences.
  • Eat something: food, especially high protein food, helps slow and steady the rate of absorption of alcohol.
  • Take a break: Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks, and cut back on how frequently you drink.  Give yourself a chance to enjoy activities without alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking games: Competition can lead to drinking more than your body can handle quickly.

Signs of Problem Drinking

  • Do you drink alone, or in the morning, before work or school?
  • Does your drinking or the effects of your drinking (a hangover) cause you to be late for class or work?
  • Is drinking more important than being with friends?
  •  Ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Does it take more drinks than before to get your drunk?
  • Does your drinking worry your family or friends?
  • Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won’t?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a drinking problem and should consider seeking help. Student Support and Advocacy Center is here to help. Check out the resources page on our website, make an appointment with one of our counselors or just drop in.