University of Southern Indiana

Alcohol Use

Using alcohol in itself is not necessarily a problem. Sometimes, though, drinking gets out of hand. You might be in a situation where there is heavy drinking that makes you uncomfortable, you may be concerned about someone who is going to drive after drinking, or you may be concerned about a friend's use of alcohol.

If someone is experiencing an alcohol emergency, get help right away!


  1. Your friend is turning 21 and a group wants to take her out to celebrate. She typically doesn't drink but doesn't want to let her friends down, especially since they are doing something nice for her. She has asked you to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. Someone in the group starts ordering shots, saying, "this is going to be fun to watch." What do you do?
  2. You go to a party with five of your friends and you've planned ahead who is going to be the designated driver. At one point you see your DD having a beer. As you're getting ready to leave you ask him how many drinks he's had, and he admits to having 3. What do you do?

Make the First Move

  • Respect the choice of anyone who chooses not to drink. No one should be pressured to drink if they don't want to.
  • Never let anyone drive home after drinking. If you are concerned about your DD, help everyone find a safe way home. Call a sober friend, a cab, or take a USI Safe Ride. Offer to help a friend pick up his car in the morning.
  • "Cut off" a friend when they've had enough.
  • Remove a friend from the situation. Take them home if you need to.
  • Provide a friend with non-alcoholic drinks and snacks.
  • Stay with them to ensure they are OK.
  • Having a conversation with a friend about his alcohol use can be tough. Have the conversation when you're both sober. Learn more about talking to a friend about alcohol use.
  • Know the resources on campus for them to seek help.
  • If you have questions or are concerned about your own drinking habits:
    • Take the online e-chug assessment. This provides you feedback on your personal use and gives you tips on how to change your behavior.
    • Experiment with drinking less. You might drink on fewer nights, have fewer drinks when you go out, alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and make sure you eat before and while drinking.
    • Seek help from a professional.

Learn more about alcohol and what you can do to stay safe.

Contact Christine Johnston


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