Alcohol is common thread in many crimes in the campus area. A victim is never at fault, but if you choose to drink, do so in moderation to help reduce your risk.
- Drinking impairs judgment and the ability to react in threatening situations. An intoxicated person is more vulnerable to injury and assault.
- Set a limit in advance. Ask a friend to tell you when you’ve had enough.
- Eat before and while drinking.
- Avoid drinking games.
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers. Watch your drink at all times.
- Pace drinks to one or fewer per hour. Sip your drink — don’t gulp.
- Don’t quench your thirst with alcoholic drinks. Alternate drinks with those without alcohol.
- Don’t ignore a friend who has an alcohol problem. Help your friend tone it down, and consider talking to a counselor or clinician if needed.
- Never leave a dangerously intoxicated individual alone, either at home or on the street.
- Keep in mind that the euphoria or buzz associated with drinking is actually an effect of lower blood-alcohol content levels. Dysphoria and disorientation set in as the legal limit of .08 is approached and surpassed.
- Doing shots is especially dangerous. Those who drink too much, too fast will drink past the body’s warning signals.
Recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning and know when to call 911. Never take a chance with a fellow student’s life.
Excessive alcohol use can lead to transport to a detoxification facility or hospital due to alcohol poisoning. Police decide to transport a student when he or she is unresponsive and can’t answer simple questions, regardless of blood-alcohol content. A one-night stay at the detox facility costs $365.
When a student under 21 is taken to a detox facility, the Offices of the Dean of Students or University Housing may contact parents to enlist their assistance in curbing this level of dangerous behavior.
During the 2007–2008 academic year, UW Police transported 115 students to the local detoxification center, not including students taken to a detox facility or a local emergency room by city police or paramedics.
Impact of High-Risk Drinking
The majority of students at UW–Madison do not abuse alcohol. However, for those who do fall into habitual and dangerously excessive use of alcohol, the consequences can be devastating in multiple areas of a student’s life. Alcohol abuse can lead to problems with general health and well-being, and academic problems often occur when a student is a habitual user of alcohol, especially in the freshman year. Relationships with friends and significant others are often negatively affected as well.
The Student Advocacy and Judicial Affairs unit in the Offices of the Dean of Students administers the UW System Code of Conduct, the document governing behavior on university property and by university students. The office also offers assistance to students who need advocacy or referrals to services on or off campus. Assistant deans talk with several hundred students each year about alcohol use or abuse, as well as the behaviors that often accompany excessive alcohol consumption.
If a student is arrested/cited for possession of alcohol or is found to have consumed alcohol — which is especially problematic when the violation occurs on university property — it is a violation of the University of Wisconsin System Code of Conduct. While one violation of this nature may result in a warning or reprimand, multiple violations or first violations with other dangerous behavior could result in disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion from the university or dismissal from University Housing. These more serious disciplinary sanctions are recorded on a student’s transcript and can be viewed by potential graduate programs or employers. Students may be asked to complete an alcohol assessment at University Health Services, participate in Alcohol Smart (a class offered by an off-campus agency) or complete readings about alcohol in connection with the disciplinary process.
Source: Offices of the Dean of Students, University Health Services.
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