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Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol Myths Alcohol Facts
  • It is a stimulant.
  • It has nutrients.
  • It increases mental and physical abilities.
  • In given amounts, alcohol affects individuals in the same way.
  • There are ways to sober up quickly.
  • It is a depressant.
  • It has empty calories.
  • It decreases mental and physical abilities.
  • In given amounts, it affects individuals differently.
  • Time is the only way to sober up

College students use various protective behaviors to avoid losing control due to alcohol including:

  • alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks
  • counting drinks
  • enjoying food with alcohol
  • using the buddy system
  • drinking lots of water to lessen dehydration

Choosing to avoid alcohol abuse can prevent a myriad of problems including:

  • Decreased academic performance
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment
  • Increased risk of drinking and driving
  • Increased risk of violence and unwanted sexual problems
  • Sexual dysfunction

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning: How to Keep Your Friends Out of the Morgue.

  • Try to wake up your friend. If you friend does not respond, there may be a serious problem.
  • Listen to your friend’s breathing. Is it irregular, or too slow/shallow?
  • Check your friend’s skin. Is his/her skin pale or bluish or is it cold or clammy?

TAKE ACTION – CALL 911 if you discover any of these problems.
STAY WITH YOUR FRIEND while waiting for help.
Make sure your friend is LYING ON HIS OR HER SIDE to prevent choking.

Alcohol causes the body to lose heat to the environment--the blood vessels dilate, bringing them closer to the surface of the skin. Alcohol should never be given to someone to “warm them up” (it will make them feel warmer, but their body will actually cool down).

Alcohol will reduce a person’s sensitivity to pain. It is possible to suffer injuries and not realize it until the alcohol wears off--burns, cuts, bruises, and even frostbite can go unnoticed.

Combining alcohol with many prescription and non-prescription medications can result in serious side effects, including death.

Women become more intoxicated than men after drinking the same amount of alcohol, even when differences in body weight are taken into account.

Drinking during pregnancy can cause a variety of health problems in the child, including:

  • fetal alcohol syndrome
  • fetal alcohol effect
  • learning and behavioral problems
  • mental retardation
  • organ abnormalities
  • hyperactivity

Several studies have reported that moderate drinkers--those who have one or two drinks per day--are less likely to develop heart disease than people who do not drink any alcohol or who drink larger amounts.

However, if you are a non-drinker, do not start drinking simply to realize heart health benefits especially if alcohol use is contraindicated for you due to family history, prior abuse issues, current medications, medical conditions, or pregnancy.

Long-term abuse of alcohol is known to cause many physical illnesses including liver damage, stomach cancer, and heart disease.

Signs of alcohol abuse:

  • Drinking to get drunk
  • Personality changes
  • High tolerance level
  • Preoccupation with drinking
  • Alcohol-related social problems
  • Loss of memory
  • Denying or hiding drinking

Alcoholism, also known as "alcohol dependence," is a chronic, often progressive disease. The symptoms of alcoholism include alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It includes four symptoms:

  • Craving--A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
  • Impaired control--The inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion.
  • Physical dependence--Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
  • Tolerance--The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects.

Alcoholism tends to run in families, and genetic factors partially explain this pattern. Risk, however, is not destiny. A person's environment, such as the influence of friends, stress levels, and the ease of obtaining alcohol, may also influence drinking and the development of alcoholism. Still other factors, such as social support, may help to protect even high-risk people from alcohol problems. Alcoholism is a treatable disease.

The University Counseling Center in McCannel Hall offers free, confidential, professional counseling for students who have been adversely affected by alcohol and drug abuse. The counselors can also help you determine if chemical use is having a negative effect on your life and, if so, provide the proper resources. Call 777-2127 for more information.

The UND Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (A.D.A.P.T) is designed to increase awareness of low-risk choices involving alcohol, drugs, sex, and other issues. This group of peer educators provides programs to the residence halls, Greek and other organizations throughout the community. Call 777-4165 at least two weeks in advance to schedule a program.

Resource links:

  • UND A.D.A.P.T. (
  • Facts on Tap (
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Frequently Asked Questions. (
  • The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., Alcoholism and Alcohol-Related Problems. (
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). (
  • NIAAA College Drinking Prevention (

UND Student Health Services
McCannel Hall, Room 100
Box 9038
Grand Forks, ND 58202
Tel: 701.777.4500