Aviva V. Maxon ’24
It’s a Saturday night and you want to party, but you are in Claremont and nothing is happening. So you and your friends decide to have your own party; you put on some music and start drinking.
Recently, many students have noticed an excess of ambulances driving through campus on the weekends and heard horror stories about peers being taken to the hospital. Referred to as ‘being transported’, having alcohol poisoning or other alcohol related injuries and sicknesses is not a light matter. This behavior has become normalized in college, and Claremont is not immune to it. As a student body and responsible citizens, we need to take care of ourselves and each other.
While it is a fun time, you also should be aware of how much you are drinking. Alcohol poisoning and abuse are no joke. There are many ways to drink responsibly and have a good time.
Before you drink, eat a full meal and set a limit for yourself for how many drinks you will have that night. Let some sober friends know you are drinking, where you are, and who you are with, in case of an emergency. Be aware of how much alcohol a drink has, whether it is beer, wine, or hard liquor. Do not drink alone. It can become dangerous and is less fun. If you are planning to go out, make sure your phone is fully charged and you have a predetermined meeting spot with your friends, in case you get separated. If you plan to drink and smoke, know how you react to both substances individually since they can have a stronger effect when consumed together.
While drinking, there are things you can do to regulate your intake and still have fun. Only have one drink per hour. Take a screenshot of your lock screen every time you take or start a drink so you have a record of when you drank. Finish one drink before beginning another, preferably after waiting 30 minutes to feel the full effects. Between alcoholic drinks, have a glass of water, juice or a non caffeinated sports drink, and have snacks. Finally, do not get behind the wheel. Drinking and driving is never okay.
There are some things to remember if your friend or someone else in your care had a little too much. Ask them what they need and do not leave them alone. Ask before touching them or helping them move. Get them safely to bed, making sure they sleep on their side, and stay with them. If you think they need more help, or medical attention, call Campus Safety. You will not be punished, even if you were also drinking. You can contact the RC-On-Call, the Dean-On-Call, or have Campus Safety come to you. All are trained, will know what to do, and how to help.
Scripps has a medical immunity policy, which says that for the need of any medical attention, other rules are suspended. In practice, this means that if a student calls for help for themselves or another student for a medical emergency, alcohol related or not, they will not be punished for breaking the college rules or laws. The fear of punishment from the institution often prevents students from calling for suitable help for themselves or their friends, and can put their life at considerable risk. However, the priority is to maintain health and safety, not to punish students.
Remember, just because you are in college, you do not have to drink. There are many other ways to have fun and socialize. Additionally, do not be afraid of alcohol.
If you find that you are drinking more than you have in the past or more than your friends, you should stop to consider why you are drinking. Is it to have fun? To seem cool? To take the edge off? How often are you drinking? How many drinks do you have during a weekend? Are you drinking during the week? Is drinking affecting your school work, job, or friendships? If you feel uncomfortable with your answers to those questions, it might be time to take a break or quit alcohol altogether.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol or other substances, there are resources available to help.
Mounsour Counseling: (909) 621-8202
Alcoholics Anonymous Claremont Meetings: https://aainlandempire.org/meetings?tsml-day=2&tsml-region=claremont
Alanon (for those effected by someone else’s addition): al-anon.org
Chaplains: (909) 621-8685, email@example.com
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS): (800) 662-4357
A local AA contact on campus: (805) 358-5722
Image Source: CDC