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Alcohol

Stats from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism1

  • Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injury, including motor vehicle crashes.
  • Assault: More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • Sexual Assault: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or acquaintance rape.
  • Binge Drinking: 38% of college students aged 18 to 22 engaged in binge alcohol use in the past month. Likewise, 62% of these students did not engage in binge drinking in the past month.
  • Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Academic Problems: About 25% 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.

Clemson University

  • New Students: In 2020, 54% of new students at Clemson reported either abstaining from alcohol use or being a nondrinker.2
  • Undergraduate Students: In 2020, 16% of Clemson undergraduate students reported having never used alcohol in their lives. Of students who reported using alcohol, only 45% of students reported weekly use.3
  • Types of Use: In 2020, 31% of active alcohol users reported avoiding binge drinking in the past two weeks.3
  • Negative Consequences: In 2020, Clemson University students who actively use alcohol reported varied negative effects of their use. This included 25% doing something they later regretted, 17% experiencing blackouts and 8% physically injuring themselves.3

1National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (August 2018). Alcohol Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from URL

2EVERFI 2020 AlcoholEdu Report

3National College Health Assessment – Clemson University 2020

Clemson's Philosophy

Clemson University is committed to maintaining an environment that is healthy, safe and attractive for all members of the community. Students who choose to use alcohol and other drugs assume a responsibility to comply with South Carolina laws and University policies, to make decisions that reduce their personal risks, and to consider the health and safety risks posed to others. The University provides education, programs, and policies to empower students to make responsible decisions relating to alcohol and other drug consumption. Students who choose to violate University policy related to alcohol and other drug use are subject to discipline as outlined in the student code of conduct. Where those actions also violate state and/or federal law, students are subject to legal consequences as well.

Our Strategy

In the spring 2014, Clemson University and community stakeholders developed the Alcohol and Other Drug Strategic Plan. Clemson University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Strategic Plan includes targets set for 10% improvement by 2020 as compared to 2010 national baseline, established as a composite of CORE data from 2009-2011, in the following measures:

  • High-risk drinking and illegal drug use

  • Consequences of alcohol and drug use

  • Protective behaviors

Strategic focus areas include:

  • Prevention

  • Intervention and treatment

  • Environmental management

  • Protective measures

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) refers to the percent of alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) in a person's bloodstream. There are many factors that contribute to your BAC, and your body will have varied responses as your BAC increases.

Factors That Impact BAC

  • Number of standard drinks
  • Amount of time in which drinks are consumed
  • Body weight
  • Water composition
  • Enzyme production and levels
  • Sex assigned at birth and corresponding hormone levels
  • Medications
  • Food

Try this BAC calculator to understanding of how different factors affect your BAC: Responsibility.org BAC Calculator


BAC Impact on Your Body

When you pass a 0.06 BAC level, negative effects begin. These symptoms include fatigue, impaired sexual performance, inappropriate social behavior and over-expressed emotions (Adapted from the University of Rochester). As your BAC continues to rise to 0.08, you will experience cognitive judgement impairment, nausea and impaired motor coordination. Although in South Carolina a BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered unlawful to drive, BAC should not be the only factor used to determine if you are capable of driving safely. Always consider how your body reacts to alcohol use and side effects that would impair your ability to drive.


BAC Levels Graph



It is important to note that the physiological differences between men and women affect the way alcohol is processed through the body. Even if a man and a woman are the same size and drink the same number and type of drinks, the woman’s BAC level will be higher due to the body’s ability to dilute alcohol and metabolize alcohol differently as well as hormonal factors.


BAC Men vs Women

.08 BAC Legal Limit. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

Standard Drink Sizes

The amount of liquid in your glass, can or bottle does not necessarily match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink. Different types of beer, wine or malt liquor can have very different amounts of alcohol content. In the United States, one "standard" drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in


  • 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol;

  • 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol;

  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol.


Standard Drink Size

What Is A Standard Drink? (n.d.). Retrieved from URL


If You Choose to Drink:

  • Keep track of the number of drinks you consume
  • Alternate with water
  • Eat before and during drinking
  • Know what’s in your drink
  • Choose not to play drinking games
  • Don’t pressure others to drink

Click here for more strategies on how to plan ahead, step up and return home safely.

A Social Drinker

  • Drinks slowly (no gulping/chugging)

  • Knows when to stop drinking (does not drink to get drunk)

  • Eats before or while drinking

  • Never drives after drinking

  • Respects non-drinkers

  • Knows and obeys laws related to drinking

A Problem Drinker

  • Drinks to get drunk

  • Tries to solve problems while drinking

  • Experiences personality changes — may become loud, angry or violent, or silent, remote or reclusive

  • Drinks when he or she should not — before driving, going to class or work

  • Causes other problems — harms himself or herself, family, friends or strangers

An Alcoholic

  • Spends a lot of time thinking about drinking and planning where and when to get the next drink

  • Keeps bottles hidden for quick pick-me-ups

  • Starts drinking without consciously planning and loses awareness of the amount consumed

  • Denies drinking

  • Drinks alone

  • Needs to drink before a stressful situation

  • May have “blackouts” — cannot remember what he or she did while drinking although he or she may have appeared “normal” to people at the time

  • Goes from having hangovers to more dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium tremens (“DTs”), which can be fatal

  • Has or causes major problems — with the police, an employer, family or friends

Alcohol Abuse on College Campuses


Skywood Recovery. (2016, August 29). Alcohol Abuse on College Campuses. Retrieved from URL