This is the concluding part in a series on drugs and behavior by Sammy Trick, Andrea Rognlien, Karina Johnson, Karlee McCoy, students at Concordia College for Psychology 324. For the first part of this series, click here.
Last issue, we submitted a letter to the editor of The Concordian with some quick, short facts about risk factors pertaining to alcoholism and drinking habits. As a follow-up to that and in order to promote responsible drinking habits amongst Concordia students, here are a couple online assessments available as tools to accomplish this task. Nova Southern University provides an online survey found here. This assessment provides a general understanding of your drinking habits. Based on the results of this 10-question survey, you can evaluate your personal level of risk for high-risk drinking based on a 40-point scale ranging from very high to none.
Through Drexel University, you can access a survey that provides an in-depth evaluation of personal drinking habits found here under the E-Check Up link. After completing this survey, you are provided with the following information:
First, a personal drinking profile of your typical drinking pattern, how much your drinking habits cost you per year, how you compare to the rest of the American population and the physical costs of your drinking habits. It also includes a personalized Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), your own estimated BAC for a typical week and during your highest reported drinking episode, along with your personal tolerance, dependence and family risk level.
Suggestions of strategies on how to cut down on drinking are also included: avoiding drinking games, spacing your drinks over time, alternating drinking alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, setting a drinking limit beforehand, and counting your drinks. Tips to promote healthy and safe drinking behaviors are also given, including selecting a designated driver, refusing a ride with a “buzzed” or drunk driver, never leaving your drink unattended, using a buddy system and never leaving someone who has passed out. An interesting aspect of this assessment is that it tests your knowledge of how alcohol affects your body. For example, do you know whether or not alcohol affects a drinker more quickly when mixed with carbonated/caffeinated beverages or mixers?
It is very important to be a responsible drinker and to know your personal risks. These assessments are just a few tools available to help you better understand your drinking risks and habits. Being responsible is key for everyone.