Safety tips for alcohol use at UConn

“The Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Education provides individual support to students through a program called BASICS, which is free for self-referrals,” Pagano said.  (Smabs Sputzer/Flickr Creative Commons)

“The Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Education provides individual support to students through a program called BASICS, which is free for self-referrals,” Pagano said. (Smabs Sputzer/Flickr Creative Commons)

Assessing the medical needs of a person suffering from over-consumption of alcohol and/or drugs is the University of Connecticut’s first priority before legal issues, according to their code of community standards.

“UConn’s number one priority is the safety of our students,” Emily Pagano, UConn alcohol and other drug coordinator, said. “They’ll assess the individual of concern and ensure the student receives appropriate medical care.”

Students can support each other by intervening early, Pagano said.

“If it seems like they’re approaching having too much, encourage them to slow down,” Pagano said.

Signs of alcohol poisoning include unresponsiveness, vomiting while passed out, irregular breathing, slurred speech and a change in skin color, Pagano said.

“These signs indicate someone needs immediate attention, call 911,” Pagano said.

It is risky to put someone to bed who is severely intoxicated, Pagano said. If someone is at risk of alcohol poisoning, the best thing you can do for them is call 911.

According to Rage on the Same Page, a campaign created by UConn students to open communication about alcohol safety on campus, if you’re putting the person to bed, turn them on their side to prevent choking in case of vomiting.

“It is important to stay with someone who is intoxicated,” Pagano said.


UConn students can look to social media to avoid driving under the influence.

“Students can use ride offers on the UConn buy/sell board, call a sober friend or walk to get home after drinking,” Pagano said.

Pagano said students should encourage others to switch to water for the rest of the night when they begin to display signs of alcohol poisoning.

“Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, at high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs), alcohol interferes with vital functions, like breathing, heart rate and our gag reflexes,” Pagano said. “Staying hydrated before, during and after drinking goes a long way.”

It is important to pace yourself and eat before drinking, because utilizing these strategies avoid the impacts that alcohol can have on the body, Pagano said.

“Pour standard drinks so each drink is really only one drink,” Pagano said.

A standard drink can be 12 ounces of beer, four to five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor according to “Rage on the Same Page.”

“Rage on the Same Page” provides detailed information and charts about the different levels of BACs, as well as online assessments to test your abilities on alcohol or drug safety.

“The Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Education provides individual support to students through a program called BASICS, which is free for self-referrals,” Pagano said.


Naiela Suleiman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at naiela.suleiman@uconn.edu.