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KC Spotlight:Alcohol and Other Drug

Health, Safety, and Well-being Region IV-W Region IV-W
November 5, 2018 Theresa Riles University of Kansas

Alcohol, marijuana, adderall, and ecstasy are all some of the most popular drugs on our college campuses. The Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Knowledge Community provides an institutionalized and ongoing structure within NASPA to discuss issues around alcohol and other drugs on campus. The AOD KC serves as a resource for both members of NASPA and other AOD groups that are addressing this ever-present issue in our respective college environments. Want to learn more about the AOD KC and the topic of alcohol and other drug? Please join us in Washington DC January 17-19, 2019 for the 2019 Alcohol, Other Drug, and Campus Violence Prevention Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference

The AOD KC recognizes that we are beginning the season of many holidays and weather changes in some areas. We all want to celebrate during the holidays, and more people are likely to drink beyond their limits during this season than at other times of the year. Some will suffer adverse consequences that range from fights to falls to traffic crashes. Sadly, we often put ourselves and others at risk because we don’t understand how alcohol affects us during an evening of celebratory drinking. If you chose to drink alcohol, it is important to know how to drink responsibly.  Although it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, many minors will still choose to do so.  It is our goal is to inform and educate all students, regardless of age, on responsible alcohol use to reduce negative consequences.

If you choose not to drink alcohol, it is still important to know this information as it is still valuable as your peers may choose to drink and you need to be prepared. Knowledge is power so be informed to make healthy choices to remain safe and avoid trouble. Here are a few tips for drinking during the holidays:

  • Drink water between alcoholic drinks. Not only will this help keep you hydrated, but also it will help slow down your drinking and keep you comfortable in a social setting. (No one has to know it's not alcohol.)
  • Use low-calorie mixers, such as no-calorie soda or tonic water or lemon and lime wedges, to help reduce added calories. You can also make healthier ingredient swaps without sacrificing flavor. For instance, use low-fat milk in your eggnog and cut the amount of cream in half — or skip it entirely.
  • Practice moderation. Enjoy and savor your drinks by sipping slowly. Being mindful can help you reduce your overall calorie intake without feeling restricted.
  • Keep the focus on family and friends and remember the reason for the gatherings: a time to celebrate with those you love.

For many of us, the holidays are a joyous time as it’s a season where we can spend quality time with our loved ones. However, this holiday season, as many as 1 in 5 Americans will feel down during the holidays. The AOD KC realize the holiday blues can lead to alcohol and drug abuse. Please be safe and healthy throughout this busy time of the season. For more information about the AOD KC for the V West region please contact the rep, Theresa Riles at theresa.riles@ku.edu.