Alcohol and Other Drugs

The college experience comes with many challenges. Aside from attending class and working towards the best grades possible, meeting new people is very much part of the college experience. With that, you may be exposed to some of the things we would like to discuss with you. We offer a wide variety of services and programs aimed at helping all UCF students be Healthy Knights 




Alcohol and Other Drugs Basics

Alcohol is a drug, which acts to depress the central nervous system at high doses. At lower doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant, inducing feelings of euphoria and talkativeness. However, drinking too much alcohol at one session can lead to drowsiness, respiratory depression (where breathing becomes slow, shallow, or stops entirely), coma, or even death.

Common Types of Alcohol You May Encounter 

Pure alcohol can be described as alcohol by volume (ABV). Often times the ABV will be marked on the packaging of your drink or can be available on the company’s website. With the differences in strength, lower ABV drinks are often served in larger quantities than those with a higher ABV. For example, beer is often served in larger quantities, whereas distilled spirits are served in smaller quantities and often masked with other nonalcoholic liquids.  

What is BAC?

Alcohol is processed through the body’s liver, and the liver can only break down a certain amount of alcohol per hour. When alcohol is being consumed faster than the liver can break it down, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises, and the feeling of drunkenness occurs. 

Blood Alcohol Concentration is the percent of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. BAC can be gauged differently from person to person depending on size, weight, assigned sex at birth, and the amount of alcohol consumed. BAC levels have effects on the body’s physical and mental functions.   

Side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Slowed reflexes and reaction time (0.02% – 0.04%) 
  • Slurred speech (0.05% – 0.08%) 
  • Memory trouble, blackouts, and memory loss (0.15%) 
  • Nausea and vomiting (0.15% – 0.20%) 
  • Loss of physical coordination (0.20% – 0.29%) 
  • Passing out (0.30% – 0.39%) 
  • Heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure changes (0.40% – over) 

BAC levels for individuals assigned female at birth. BAC levels for individuals assigned male at birth.

Do The Knight Thing

These are a few steps you can take to keep you and your friends safe. 

  1. Choosing not to drink
  2. Use a designated driver
  3. Keep track of drinks
  4. Avoid drinking games
  5. Pacing and spacing drinks
  6. Setting a limit on the number of alcoholic drinks
  7. Alternating alcoholic with non-alcoholic drinks
  8. Eating before and/or while drinking
  9. Avoiding hard liquor
  10. Asking a friend to let you know when you’ve had enough

Click here for tips and ideas on how to refuse a drink. 

Alcohol Poisoning  / Alcohol Emergencies

Alcohol poisoning is a dangerous result of consuming too much alcohol over a short period of time. If you drink too much alcohol too quickly it can be life-threatening, which is why it is so important to space and pace your drinks. No matter a person’s usual alcohol tolerance, weight, age, or birth-assigned gender, alcohol poisoning can affect anyone.

As you drink more your blood alcohol content (BAC) level continues to climb, eventually getting to a point where your basic mental, physical and emotional functions are no longer able to work as normal. However, a person can trigger alcohol poisoning even after they’ve stopped drinking, as BAC levels keep increasing for up to 40 minutes after your last drink.

If you see someone showing these signs, and they are unresponsive call 911 immediately. In an emergency, follow these suggestions:

  • If the person is unconscious, breathing less than eight times a minute, or has repeated, uncontrolled vomiting, call 911 immediately. Even when someone is unconscious or has stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released into the bloodstream and the level of alcohol in the body continues to rise. Never assume that a person will “sleep off” alcohol poisoning and never leave an unconscious person alone.
  • When calling either 911 or poison control, be prepared to provide information. Common information that may be asked include:
    • The location of the emergency (including exact address and apartment number, if possible)
    • Approximate age of the individual needed emergency care
    • If the individual needing care is conscious
    • If the individual needing care is breathing
    • The kind and amount of alcohol the person drank and when they drank
  • Always listen carefully to emergency operators. They will advise you what you should do while waiting for help to arrive. While waiting for help, don’t try to make the person vomit. Alcohol poisoning affects the way your gag reflex works. That means someone with alcohol poisoning may choke on his or her own vomit or accidentally inhale (aspirate) vomit into the lungs which could cause a fatal lung injury.

Click here for more information about the signs of alcohol poisoning and steps to take in an emergency.

While waiting for help to arrive, you should put the person into the recovery position. Click here for more information about the recovery position.

The Recovery Position. 1) Tilt the head backwards, ensure clear airway and straighten head and neck. 2) Place arm at side and other arm acress chest with hand against cheek. 3) Bring knee up to a 90 degree angle. 4) Roll person over toward you with knee at angle and endure head is supported.

Image from CPR Test