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Alcohol


Remember, not everyone drinks. Specifically, 46% of first-year students reported not drinking in the past month in their second semester at Clemson (National College Health Assessment, 2018).


They may not drink because they are not 21 years of age, health concerns, or personal and cultural values and beliefs. There are many ways to have fun and socialize at Clemson University.


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 injurie, 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.

It’s not just alcohol but drugs too. 14.5% of Clemson students reported using marijuana at least once in the past 30 days (NCHA, 2018). Only 4.8% of Clemson students reported using an illegal drug (excluding marijuana) in the past 30 days (e.g., cocaine, amphetamines, sedatives; NCHA, 2018).


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

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, and

  • protective measures.

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.


How do you know how much alcohol is in your drink?


Even though they come in different sizes, the drinks below are each examples of one standard drink:

Standard Drink Size

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


Risk Reduction Behaviors

  • Alternate alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks (water or even fizzy water that looks like a drink to take pressure off of not drinking)

  • Stay with the same group of friends the entire time of drinking

  • Choose not to drink alcohol

  • Take an intoxicated friend’s keys

  • Avoid drinking games

  • Pace drinks to one or fewer an hour

  • Do not accept an open container of alcohol

  • Plan your way home before you go out

Although alcohol can create a relaxed and “up” feeling, many students incorrectly assume the more alcohol they consume, the better they will feel, when it is actually just the opposite. The effect is known as the point of diminishing return.


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).


BAC Level/Point of Diminishing Return


The body can process about one standard drink per hour. If you drink more than one drink per hour, such as taking shots, your BAC will rise and your body will begin to shut down.


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