Students have just had a horrific month of being back at home. They have doubtlessly been subjected to some good old-fashioned coddling by Mummy and Daddy dearest. Mummy and Daddy probably don’t think that living solely of Jaffa Cakes and Buckfast is a very good idea. They also think that people should go to bed before 5 am. What, are they mad?! Have they forgotten how to live?
But the holidays are over now, and students have broken free once again. They’re huddled around cash machines, ready to do a run to Tesco. They frantically check the labels of worryingly cheap alcohol. And then the vomit flows.
Sometimes you get those posters in the toilet stalls about the maximum amount of alcohol units you can drink per week without it seriously affecting your health. One unit is supposed to be ½ a pint of 4% lager. According to the newest guidelines, it’s 14 units for both men and women. You’re tuning out already, aren’t you?
No, students will get drunk as long as this planet is spinning. It’s one of the base laws of the universe. And they definitely won’t be doing it within guidelines.
But let’s not forget that alcohol is a drug- a depressant. And while it can make you funnier and other people infinitely more attractive (in your mind), it can also cause some very bad things indeed, like alcohol poisoning, horrible car accidents, and your mate throwing up on your new Ikea rug.
So, may I present to you…
The Drunk Student’s Manual to Health and Safety!
Disclaimer: I have the same medical qualifications as the weird ladies that sell ‘healing rocks’ on Etsy. That means absolutely none. I have put all the sources consulted at the bottom of this article.
Try not to set your house on fire
Yeah, a stir-fry at 3 am sounds like a really, really good idea. The problem is that people who want stir-fry at 3 am usually do not have the best fine motor control. Nor are they very good at putting out fires. Get a kebab or something. That’s why they exist. If you are reading this while your kitchen is on fire, get out of there and call the firemen. Once the firemen are done extinguishing everything, try not to fall asleep with a lit cigarette in your hand.
If your mate is extremely drunk, do not leave them alone
Look out for your mates. Is your mate a complete mess? Give them a drink of water. If you’re out and about, it’s better to take them home rather than letting them flop about the street and get hit by a car. Yes, your mate is an adult and it is their responsibility to control their drinking, but it’s better for them to be safe rather than dead. Look on the bright side, you can loudly berate them in the morning when they’ve got a hangover!
If they are lying face-down in the bathroom, they aren’t having a nap.
Alcohol poisoning is a real actual thing that happens. No, you are not invincible. Everybody has a limit of how much alcohol their body can take before self-destructing. If you find someone passed out in a bathroom, check that they are okay. If they are unresponsive, please call an ambulance.
Other symptoms of alcohol poisoning are:
- Blue-ish/pale skin
You do not need to have all of the above to have alcohol poisoning.
If you think someone has alcohol poisoning, do not leave them alone. They could choke on their vomit. Roll them on their side, so that any sick will come out on the floor rather than blocking their throat. If they are not improving, give a ring to 999. When they’re well again, you can brag about saving their life, and possibly force them into indentured servitude.
Or make them get you chicken nuggets.
Your driving skills do not improve when you’re drunk. GET A TAXI.
Don’t drink and drive. Just don’t. If you are reading this, you are probably old enough to know why driving drunk is a horribly illegal thing to do. Get a taxi, get a bus, get a very tall and muscular friend to give you a piggyback ride. Do not get behind the wheel. Ever.
If somebody who looks like they might have had a few is offering you a ride, do not get in the car. Take a taxi instead. It’s better to keep your life than to save money.
Extremely drunk people cannot give consent.
If they are barely capable of standing up, they are not capable of agreeing to sex. Just look at them, they can barely eat that kebab, never mind make life decisions. Having sex with very drunk people is illegal, not to mention an incredibly abhorrent thing to do. Do not do it.
If you happen to become a victim of sexual assault while drunk, report it immediately, even if it was somebody you know. If they have violated you, they do not deserve your friendship or respect anymore.
And finally, don’t be stupid.
- Try not to fight people, especially those that can arrest you.
- No, you cannot fly. Don’t jump off that balcony.
- Leave those traffic cones alone.
- If you take any kind of medication, make sure it is compatible with alcohol first, before you go out on a pub crawl.
- Some people like to do drugs. While the official stance of this guide is: “Drugs are bad, m’kay”, the fact is, people will do them anyway. If you do or want to do drugs, you should know that you are much likelier to overdose if you take them with alcohol. But we are not your mother. If you really want to put chemicals in your bloodstream, do not combine substances. Dying like a rock star when you are not a rock star is stupid.
You have now reached the end of the Drunk Student’s Manual to Health and Safety.
Hopefully, you are now better prepared to survive a night of boozing. Remember that the UK emergency number is 999. You can also use 112, which works anywhere in the world. Remember, have fun but don’t be dumb!
Sexual assault information and helpline:
If you believe that your drinking might be out of control, please get in touch with your GP immediately. It is one thing to have fun, but excessive drinking can cause huge problems down the line.
You can find helpful information here: