Be a Smarty. Party Safe. Party Smart.
Make a plan to have a safe night out in San Marcos!
Circle of 6 mobile application to plan ahead for a safe night out.
Not Everyone Drinks
Almost half of Texas State students use alcohol less than once per week. Although there is a perception that students party all the time, this is not the case. Texas Students are working, studying and hanging out with friends. The misperceptions about how much Texas State students party is called the social norms bias.
The social norms bias leads abstainers and moderate drinkers to assume they are in the minority (i.e., everyone else is drinking more). This is sometimes called the "reign of error," because such misperceptions allow heavy drinkers to perceive themselves as the majority and justify their behavior and the harm associated with it. You do not have to be a heavy drinker to fit in at Texas State or at any college.
Social norms marketing aims to correct misperceptions about alcohol use, consequences, and attitudes and to support healthy non- and moderate drinking behaviors. It is not a solo strategy. The Bienestar Coalition and PartySafe seek to help students get accurate information to make better decisions based on real student norms. The normative messages of our PartySafe campaign need to be reinforced by the policies, procedures and other programs in the campus and surrounding community.
Does this tendency to overestimate mean alcohol-related issues are really no big problem? Quite the reverse. Our tendency to overestimate “normalizes” the behaviors – and perpetuates the myth that excessive drinking and related problems are “just part of college life.” When community members know a) the real drinking and party norms and b) our tendency to misperceive, we become better at seeing problematic drinking behaviors and situations for what they are — not normal.
When people engage in binge drinking, sometimes they make bad decisions that require action. The "after party" for people who make these bad decisions needs to include an HIV test for those who had unprotected sex under the influence.
What's At Stake
Often when getting ready for a night out, we don’t think about the consequences of not having a good plan. A number of choices are made throughout the evening. Many are harmless, but some could have unwanted results. From drinks to drugs to going home with the wrong person, decisions can result in many different outcomes. Listed are just a few negative results from poor decisions:
Risky sexual decisions
No, we're not talking about spilling a beer.
Hosting a Party?
- Provide a more moderate, safe, and satisfying drinking environment
- You're the responsible party. Regulate high-risk drinking behaviors, situations and settings.
Attending a Party?
- Moderate your drinking and those of people with you.
- Plan to have a sober driver.
- Stay with a group.
- Avoid situations and settings with party-goers who have had too much to drink.
- Don't participate in risky sexual behavior.
Don't make assumptions based on the actions of someone in a bar. With alcohol in the system the ability to make decisions is significantly decreased.
Are you going too far?
- Are you too drunk to understand the other person saying no?
- Are they too drunk for you to understand if they're saying no?
- Is the other person too drunk to give consent? Not sure?
- If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it could be rape.
Don't let a friend drive away after too many drinks.
Stop situations in which you think someone's health or life might be in danger.
Promote food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Call out people who have had to much to drink and cut them off if possible.
Are you the designated driver? Trying to moderate your alcohol intake?
Here are some alternatives you can employ and still enjoy your night:
- Energy Drinks — Red Bull is commonly available at bars and will allow you to keep up all night!
- Soda is also a commonly available alternative at bars. Some bartenders will even mix it with a simple syrup for a little more flavor!
- Driving around a group of people all night? Have them buy you dinner or gas!
- Have a buddy! Ask another friend to be sober with you during the night out.
Pick Your Poison
Alcohol and drugs DO NOT Mix!
Separately, drugs and alcohol cause many adverse effects. When used together, effects are more severe and can lead to increasing problems and bad decisions. Studies show that students often mix drugs, such as common prescriptions, with alcohol. Be sure to ask your pharmacist or physician if you can drink while on your medication. Often, mixing medications with alcohol can have dangerous consequences.
What's The Cost
The consequences of excessive and underage drinking affect virtually all college campuses, college communities and college students, whether they choose to drink or not. According to research on the consequences of college drinking, when you fail to PartySafe, you put yourself at risk for:
- Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Assault: 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Sexual Abuse: 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex (Hingson et al., 2002).
- Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers and receiving lower grades overall (Engs et al., 1996; Presley et al., 1996a, 1996b; Wechsler et al., 2002).
- Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem (Hingson et al., 2002), and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use (Presley et al., 1998).
- Drunk Driving: 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Vandalism: About 11 percent of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol (Wechsler et al., 2002).
- Property Damage: More than 25 percent of administrators from schools with relatively low drinking levels and over 50 percent from schools with high drinking levels say their campuses have a "moderate" or "major" problem with alcohol-related property damage (Wechsler et al., 1995).
- Police Involvement: About 5 percent of four-year college students are involved with the police or campus security as a result of their drinking (Wechsler et al., 2002), and 110,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are arrested for an alcohol-related violation such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence (Hingson et al., 2002).
- Alcohol Abuse and Dependence: 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking (Knight et al., 2002).
Last reviewed: 3/1/2013