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Tip 16:          Party with a Plan 

Some of my friends seem to be able to drink and never have problems.  How do they do that?  

Royal N.,   Connecticut College, Senior

Our father is an alcoholic and I am worried about my younger brother following his footsteps.  What advice should I give my younger brother about drinking in college?  I am a senior and I know the college party scene and it can be tough sometimes.  

Dan D.,   Michigan State University, Senior

No one plans to get hurt, hurt others, or end up in jail after a night of partying.  Here are some tips on how to make sure you and those around you stay safe.  If you Party with a Plan, you have a better chance of letting the good times roll! Ask yourself these questions before you go out:

Who- Who are you going out with? Who are you meeting later on? 

What- What are you planning to do? Do you have the details in mind before you leave your room?

Where- Where are you going? Is it random or do you have a plan? Do others know the location in case they need to reach you?

When- If you’re planning to drink, know your limit and when to stop? The majority of people who get in trouble with alcohol have gone over their limit. (See Tip #14: Low-Risk Drinking)

Why- If you’re planning to drink, do you know why? Are you looking to relax, blow off steam, are you angry or depressed over something? Knowing why you drink can lower your risk for trouble.

How- How are you getting home? Know this before you go out! Is your driver planning to drink? If so, make sure you have an alternate ride home.


Party with a Plan is a registered trademark for my colleague Randy Haveson, author, speaker and friend.   <>


Royal, in addition to the variety of tips found here and throughout this book, a few more strategies to help you avoid the problems associated with high-risk drinking at a party include:  

  • If you arrive at the party a little later than usual and leave a little earlier, you will reduce your consumption and subsequent risk for problems. 

  • Avoid carbonated beverages because it speeds the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.  Alcohol mixed with carbonated beverages such as Coca-Cola or Seven Up as opposed to water or fruit juice will increase peak BAL.  

  • Mixing alcoholic beverages with regularly sweetened sodas as opposed to diet sodas will result in a slightly lower peak BAL.  

  • Remember, food in the stomach will slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream and delay impairment.

  • Remember too, if you alternate alcoholic beverages with water or other non-alcoholic beverages it cuts your consumption in half and helps keep you somewhat hydrated.

  • Bring your own non-alcoholic beverages with you to the party.



Party with a Plan.  Set a low-risk limit.  Stick to your limit.

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