Helpful Tips on Drinking

By Grace Wakim, MA

When you first came to USF as a student, you may have had some preconceived notions about the way in which alcohol would influence your college experience.  Maybe you felt excited to drink in college and pictured yourself at loud parties, having fun and making memories.  Maybe you felt some anxiety around alcohol and worried that you would be pressured to drink when you didn’t want to.  Maybe you assumed that USF was not a “party” school due to its Catholic status, or assumed the opposite due to its location in the notorious city of San Francisco. 

Whatever your thoughts, fears, and hopes about alcohol and college, chances are that there was some falsehood and some truth in each.  Although not all students drink, according to the CDC, 4 out of 5 college students (80%) drink alcohol, and roughly half of students who drink engage in binge drinking.  As a result of drinking too much or too frequently, many students encounter academic difficulties, depression, social and romantic complications, legal problems, injury, or even death.  Although these issues are alarming, it is important to recognize that if you do choose to drink, you can take steps to reduce these negative consequences to keep drinking safe and fun, and have the college experience you hoped for.

Before you go out:

  • Don’t forget to eat a full meal.
  • Decide before going out if you will drink, and if so, how many drinks you will have.
  • Plan your transportation for getting home before going out.  Don’t travel alone.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and you have your MUNI pass or emergency taxi money in case something goes wrong and you need to leave earlier than planned.
  • While you are drinking:

  • Keep track of the number of drinks you have consumed.
  • Try to drink water between drinks and throughout the course of the night.
  • Spread your drinking out over the evening - i.e. one drink per hour.
  • If you decide to play drinking games, be sure to take “breaks” from the game and just watch others play to avoid becoming too intoxicated.
  • Stay with your friends. 
  • If you do choose to leave your group, let your friends know where you are going and who you are going with.
  • Watch your drink.  Don’t leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers.
  • After drinking:

  • Don’t take any acetaminophen-based painkillers (such as Tylenol) while there is still alcohol in your system.
  • Before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up the next morning, drink water to rehydrate yourself.  Pedialyte can also help to replenish electrolytes after a night of drinking.
  • If you drank a lot the night before, avoid driving the next morning.  You might still be legally intoxicated and risk getting a DUI.
  • Eat a hearty breakfast the next morning to settle your stomach and help give you energy.
  • For women, beware that hormone changes during certain times of the month may make you less likely to metabolize alcohol in your system.
  • Other important reminders:

    Avoid drinking when…

  • You are sleep deprived.
  • You haven’t eaten sufficient food that day.
  • You are feeling sad, angry, or emotionally overwhelmed.  Drinking will often make you feel worse than before.
  • You are drinking because you feel pressured or feel like you have to, not because you want to.
  • You are with people you just met, or people you do not trust or feel uncomfortable around.
  • You have recently taken another substance or medication.  For more information on alcohol and medication  interactions, go here: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/medicine.htm
  • Understand your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC):

  • BAC Chart
  • Drive Sober App: BAC Calculator
  • If you find that you are struggling to cut down on your drinking or are concerned for a friend, don’t be afraid to contact CAPS for help. Listed below are more links and resources:

    Self-Help and Peer-Led Support Groups:

  • USF Peer-led Residential Recovery Community (The Haven)
  • USF Big Book Study Group (Please Call 415-422-6352 for more information)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous San Francisco: http://www.aasf.org/home.cfm
  • Smart Recovery Silicon Valley: http://smartrec-sv.org/
  • LifeRing San Francisco/Bay Area: http://liferingsf.org/
  • Harm-reduction information and tips for cutting down on drinking:

  • http://www.hamsnetwork.org/
  • http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/strategies/tipstotry.asp
  • http://www.drinksmarter.org/cutting-back
  • https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/make-a-change/how-to-cut-down/
  • If you have a friend you believe has a drinking problem:

  • http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/has90412.page
  • https://ncadd.org/for-youth/concerned-about-someone
  • http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/helping-a-friend-with-a-drinking-problem
  • Overall...    Trust your instincts...     Watch out for yourself...     

    and Watch out for others. 

    Quick Links

    Sexual Assault Reporting

    Callisto-College Sexual Assault Reporting

    CALLISTO is a college sexual assault reporting website specifically designed and available for USF students to connect to resources, learn about reporting options, and to create a secure, private record of what happened to them. 

    Emergency

    If you are in the midst of an emergency, please call USF Public Safety at 415-422-2911.

    Medical Care

    If you need immediate medical attention, please visit:
    Trauma Recovery Center / Rape Treatment Center(TRC/RTC)
    San Francisco General Hospital
    2727 Mariposa St., #100
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    
(415) 437-3011
    
www.traumarecoverycenter.org

    On-Campus Free and Confidential Support:

    USF Counseling and Psychological Services(CAPS)
    Gilson Hall, Lower Level
    (415) 422-6352

    University Ministry (ask to speak to a clergy member)
    Toler Hall, Lower Level
    (415) 422-4463

    San Francisco Resources

    San Francisco Women Against Rape: (415) 647-7273 or sfwar.org

    Community United Against Violence (CUAV) - (415) 333-4357 Serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning communities

    Domestic Violence - Riley's Center Crisis Line - (415) 255-0165 Advocates available for victims of domestic violence

    La Casa de las Madres - Adults – (877) 503-1850;
    Teens – (877) 923-0700
    Counseling, information, resources, and referrals for survivors of domestic violence

    Rape Treatment Center - (415) 437-3000
    Those who have suffered from trauma, violence, and loss

    Suicide Prevention - (415) 781-0500 Helping people who are having suicidal thoughts

    WOMAN, Inc. - (415) 864-4722
    Serving battered women in San Francisco and the larger Bay Area

    24-Hour Crisis Lines

    National Domestic Violence Hotline - (800) 799-SAFE
    Advocates available for victims of domestic violence

    National Sexual Assault Hotline - (800) 656-HOPE
    Advocates available for victims of sexual assault

    Victim of Crime Resource Center - (800) 842-8467
    McGeorge law students provide resource and referral information to victims and their families, victim service providers, and other victim advocates.

    Youth Crisis Line - (800) 843-5200
    Youth needing assistance or in crisis situations

    Digital Abuse

    ThatsNotCool.com
    www.thatsnotcool.com

    Domestic/Dating/Intimate Partner Violence

    Abused Women's Services, Marin

    (415) 924-6616 (crisis)
    (415) 924-3456 (Spanish crisis line)

    (415) 457-2464 (main office)

    (415) 457-2421 (TTY)
    www.maws.org



    Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Intimate Partner Violence
    www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html

    Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse(CORA), San Mateo
    Languages: English and Spanish
    (800) 300-1080 or (650) 312-8515 (crisis)

    (650) 259-1855 (legal services line for victims only)
    
(650) 652-0800 (office)
    
www.corasupport.org



    Narika
    Languages: South Asian languages
    (800) 215-7308 (help-line message machine will return calls in 24 hours)

    (510) 444-6068 (office)
    
www.narika.org



    National Institute of Justice: Intimate Partner Violence
    www.nij.gov/topics/crime/intimate-partner-violence/


    Office for Victims of Crime
    Domestic and Family Violence
    http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/topic.aspx?topicid=27


    A Safe Place, Oakland
    
(510) 536-7233 (crisis)
    
(510) 986-8600 (office)
    
www.asafeplacedvs.org



    Shalom Bayit
    Counseling for Jewish Women
    
(866) SHALOM-7 (help-line toll free)
    
(510) 451-8874 (office)
    
www.shalom-bayit.org



    STAND! against Domestic Violence, Concord
    
(925) 676-2845 (office)
    
(888) 215-5555 (crisis)
    
www.standagainstdv.org



    Victim of Crime Resource Center
    (800) 842-8467
    www.1800victims.org/

    Health Services

    HealthRight 360
    558 Clayton St.
    San Francisco, CA 94117
    (415) 746-1950

    Lyon Martin Health Services
    Provides health care to women, lesbians, and transgender people
    1748 Market St, Suite 201
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 565-7667
    www.lyon-martin.org 

    San Francisco City Clinic
    356 7th St.
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    (415) 487-5500
    www.sfcityclinic.org

    San Francisco Free Clinic
    4900 California St.
    (Cross street 11th Ave.)
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    (415) 750-9894
    www.sfccc.org/san-francisco-free-clinic/

    Trauma Recovery Center / Rape Treatment Center(TRC/RTC)
    San Francisco General Hospital
    2727 Mariposa St. #100
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    
(415) 437-3011

    www.traumarecoverycenter.org/


    Women's Community Clinic
    1833 Fillmore St, 3rd Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    (415) 379-7800
    www.womenscommunityclinic.org 

    Law Enforcement

    San Francisco Police Department
    Emergency: 911
    Non-Emergency: (415) 553-0123

    Note: When calling 911 on a cellular phone near a highway, the call is connected to The California Highway Patrol (CHP) dispatch center. In other areas in San Francisco, the call will connect directly to SF dispatch. You can also dial directly to SF dispatch: (415) 553-8090

    Legal Help

    Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic(CROC)

    (415) 864-1790 (office)

    (415) 252-2844 (intake line)



    US Department of Justice, Office of Violence against Women
    www.ovw.usdoj.gov/


    US Department of Justice, Defending Childhood
    www.justice.gov/defendingchildhood/


    U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
(regional office)
    50 Beale St., Suite 7200

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 486-5555
 TDD
    (877) 521-2172


    U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
(national office)
    (800) 872-5327
    
www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/title-ix-rights-201104.html

    Victim Services Division(SF DA’s Office)
    850 Bryant St. #320
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    (415) 553-9044
    
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (call for available intake times)
    
www.sfvictimservices.org/


    LGBTQIA

    Community United Against Violence(CUAV)
    427 South Van Ness Ave.
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    (415) 333-4357 (safety line)
    (415) 777-5500 (office
)
    Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    
www.cuav.org

    Male Survivors

    Male Survivor
    www.malesurvivor.org


    Sexual Assault / Rape

    Bay Area Women Against Rape(BAYWAR)
    470 27th St.
    Oakland, CA 94612
    
(510) 845-7273 (24-hour crisis line)
    (510) 430-1298 (office
)
    Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    
www.baywar.org

    California Coalition Against Sexual Assault(CALCASA)
    1215 K. St., Suite 1850

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 446-2520
    
www.calcasa.org

    Rape Abuse & Incest National Network(RAINN)
    (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
    www.rainn.org

    San Francisco Women Against Rape(SFWAR)
    3543 18th St. #7
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    
(415) 647-7273 (24-hour hotline)
    (415) 861-2024 (office)
    
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    
www.sfwar.org

    Trauma Recovery Center / Rape Treatment Center(TRC/RTC)
    San Francisco General Hospital
    2727 Mariposa St., #100
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    
(415) 437-3011
    
www.traumarecoverycenter.org

    Shelters

    Asian Women's Shelter
    Languages: multiple Asian languages spoken
    
(415) 751-0880 (crisis)
    (877) 751-0880 (crisis)

    (415) 751-7110 (office)
    
www.sfaws.org



    La Casa de las Madres
    Languages: Spanish and English
    
(415) 503-0500 (office)
    
(877) 503-1850 (crisis)
    
(877) 923-0700 (teen line)
    
www.lacasa.org



    Riley Center and Emergency Shelter

    (415) 255-0165 (crisis)
    
(415) 552-2943 (office)
    
www.rileycenter.org



    Stalking

    Loveisrespect
    
(866) 331-9474
    text "loveis" to 22522
    
www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/types-of-abuse/what-is-stalking

    Stalking Resource Center
    www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center

    Street Harassment

    Cards Against Harassment
    www.cardsagainstharassment.com

    Hollaback!(San Francisco)
    sanfrancisco@ihollaback.org
    sanfrancisco.ihollaback.org

    Stop Street Harassment(San Francisco)
    (571) 449-7326
    www.stopstreetharassment.org

    Other Support Organizations

    A Call To Men
    www.acalltomen.org


    INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
    www.incite-national.org


    Men Can Stop Rape
    www.mencanstoprape.org


    My Strength
    www.mystrength.org


    Office on Women's Health
    www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/types-of-violence/index.html