IN the News

Myth Shattering: Facts about Alcohol and Other Drugs

Maybe you've heard this before: He just needs to sleep it off.
Or this: She's fine, she's just blacked out.
Or you've been told to: Puke and rally!

And maybe you've been the person saying something along those lines to someone else. Maybe you didn't know what was wrong with it.
So let's talk about it.

It's so easy to accept what everyone says around you as fact, but it takes just a little more digging to find out that what everyone may believe to be true might actually be completely false...
...And if you know the actual truth- you and your friends could not only save your own lives, but save others as well.
Here's the deal. Last week was National Drugs and Alcohol Facts Week, and we went over some common misconceptions concerning drugs and alcohol, we're were able to shatter those myths, and to piece together reality for you so that you and your friends can know more and do more when it really counts.

Myth #1: My friends, my organization, and I all risk getting in serious trouble if we call for or take someone in for alcohol poisoning.
True or False?
False! Most schools, counties, and states have Good Samaritan Laws or 911 Lifeline Legislation to protect those who provide aid, which means that you have limited immunity from negative legal consequences for helping someone in need of medical assistance. Your community wants you to help others, not punish you for it. Check out this fact sheet or to find out more about the laws in your state.

Myth #2: Every student parties. That's what college is for!
That sounds about right. Right?
Wrong. It's common for students to think that everyone around them is drinking a lot and often. You hear about it in the news, in the dorms, in class even - but it's not as prevalent as you may think. Let's use Cal Poly as an example.
26% of student have not used alcohol in the last 30 days, as compared with the perceived 1.4%. Odds are, you know quite a few people who aren't drinking. So the "everyone does it" excuse is out the window. We know everyone actually doesn't, and furthermore, the students who are drinking are typically consuming 4 drinks or less when they go out (Cal Poly Executive Summary (Spring 2018), American College Health Association: National College Health Assessment).

Myth #3: I can sober up quickly if I need to.
Any takers?
Ding ding! False. There is nothing you can do to sober up besides time. Food, cold showers, caffeine, stimulants, and even sleep will not lower your BAC.

Which brings us to Myth #4: People pass out from alcohol all the time. They'll be fine in the morning.
That's right, false again! Passing out from alcohol consumption is not normal, and should never be dismissed as "not a big deal." While unconscious, your BAC can continue to rise and you are at increased risk of choking, slipping into a coma, stopping breathing, or even dying. If you see someone pass out from alcohol, stay with them and monitor them. You should never let someone just "sleep it off." If someone is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, don't wait. Call 911.
If you don't know what to look for, follow this acronym: MUST HELP.

Do you know what your BAC is after one drink? Two? Three? offers The Virtual Bar BAC calculator so you can see how different quantities of beer, wine, or liquor will affect you. Download the app so you can take it on the go and check in you're going out, and prevent alcohol related incidents.

Think you've got it all down? Take this 10-minute quiz to test your Drug and Alcohol IQ!
Don't believe every myth that goes around your campus. Equip yourself with knowledge - the more you know, the more you can do.
Practice safe drinking. Save a life from alcohol poisoning.

Aware Awake Alive

About Aware Awake Alive
Aware Awake Alive is a program offered by WITH US, The National Network for Peer Accountability - a bystander intervention research center based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Aware Awake Alive focuses on peer-to-peer education around alcohol poisoning and hazing prevention. Download education and awareness resources from the toolbox at

Resources from
FailSafe is a web-based toolkit for college students to fight high-risk drinking and reduce harm. Developed in partnership with the American Institutes for Research, this tool is available on our site and more information can be found HERE

The Virtual Bar:
The Virtual Bar is an app. It can be downloaded on to your smartphone or used at the below link. It is a great tool for those who are of age to learn more about how alcohol affects their bodies, so they can educate themselves on their own limits. Download this HERE

Ask Listen Learn Parent Resources:
These materials from Ask, Listen, Learn are helpful for parents of younger kids (ages 9-12). Tips for Parents, Say No to Underage Drinking
,Building Communication for a Healthy Lifestyle


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