When heading out next Friday’s house party, here are some tips to keep you out of handcuffs and out of harm’s way.
1. It is important that students attending a house party do not go alone. Make sure to arrive with friends whom you know well and trust. That being said, make sure you pick the right friends. No one wants to get stranded at a stranger’s house. Girls especially shouldn’t go to parties alone.
Bryan Vlok, vice president of Associated Students of Boise State University, encourages students to be careful when attending parties.
“It’s just making smart decisions,” Vlok said. “Always take someone with you who you trust. Know where you’re at, who you’re with and who you are around.”
2. A common activity at house parties is drinking games. Those can include beer pong, king of the cup and quarters. Lauren Baines, a health educator for Wellness Services, warns students there are many dangers associated with drinking games.
“Common causes of harm while students drink are drinking to get drunk, drinking a lot of alcohol in (a) short period of time, participating in drinking games, and pressure from peers to drink a lot,” Baines said. “Students should be aware of these common risky behaviors and take steps to prevent or avoid them.”
3. One common danger at house parties is students not knowing how much alcohol they actually consume.
“Students are not aware of how much they are actually drinking when they attend these parties,” Baines said. “For example, students may say they only had ‘one’ drink when actually it is four or five according to standard drink sizes.”
Drinking too much results in alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. Baines provided some symptoms to watch for when it comes to alcohol poisoning:
–Slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute)
-Unconscious or semi-conscious
-Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
-Vomiting while sleeping, passed out or not waking up after vomiting
“If you’re concerned about someone, do something and keep in mind that even when someone is unconscious or has stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released into the bloodstream and the level of alcohol in the body continues to rise,” Baines said. “Never assume that a person will ‘sleep off’ alcohol poisoning.”
4. Possibly the most dangerous part of house parties is unwanted or risky sexual relations. According to Health Services, 19.5 percent of Boise State students had unprotected sex when drinking alcohol. Not only is a person’s mind less clear in making sexual decisions but the human body is less able to fight off unwanted sexual contact.
Students should be not leave their drinks unattended and should avoid being alone. Come with at least one buddy and stick with that buddy through the whole party. If suspicious activity is going on, take action and alert authorities.
5. Students should avoid staying at a stranger’s house over night. Under no circumstance should students drive drunk or get in a car with someone under the influence. It is recommended to come with a designated driver or call a cab.
“If you are in a situation where you are at a house party and need help, use campus security to get you home,” Vlok said. “I give all my students my personal cell phone number. If you are in a dangerous situation and you don’t want to be there anymore call me and I will come get you. You can never be too safe.”