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):

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:

Harm-reduction information and tips for cutting down on drinking:

If you have a friend you believe has 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
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.standffov.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

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.justice.gov/ovw

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
www.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