What are Protective Behaviors? 

Protective Behaviors are choices you make to keep yourself safe. Islander Peer Educators encourages you to think about consequences, so that you’ll make healthy choices contributing to your success. 

Our research shows that 97.6% of Islanders chose the following while partying or socializing: 

  • Chose not to drink alcohol 
  • Used a designated driver who didn't drink 
  • Decided in advance what their limit would be - A good rule is 0 drinks if you’re driving or underage, 1 drink per hour if you’re of age and no more than 3 drinks. 
  • Ate before or during alcohol consumption 

Other Protective Behaviors include: 

  • Having water or soda between drinks 
  • Using the buddy system - Keep tabs on each other and don’t leave a friend stranded without a ride home. Be assertive if you perceive a potentially dangerous situation. 
  • Space your drinks over time 
  • Keep track of how many drinks you’re having 
  • Alternate between non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks 
  • Eat before and during drinking 
  • Make a decision about sex before you go out 
  • Stop drinking when you feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired 
  • Avoid drinking games 
  • Avoid shots 
  • Use a taxi 
  • Avoid illegal drugs - You don’t know what’s in them or what effect they’ll have on you, and they can get you arrested! 
  • Watch out for your friends - Don’t let friends go off into isolated areas with people they don’t know. Don’t let them drive if they’ve been drinking. Don’t leave them at parties alone. 
  • Know your sexual limits 
  • Watch your drink 
  • Rehearse saying “no thanks” when offered a drink you don’t want 
  • Spend more time with friends who don’t drink 
  • Refuse to ride with a “buzzed” or drunk driver 
  • Have a friend let you know when you’ve had enough 
  • Pace your drinks to 1 or fewer per hour 
  • Drink non-alcoholic beer or punch 
  • Abstain from playing sports or swimming after drinking alcohol 

Be assertive - Go only where you want. Don’t let yourself be pressured into a tough spot, like getting into a car with a drunk driver, going to a party where you don’t know anyone, relying on strangers to take you home, or drinking more than you’re comfortable with. 

Dealing with Alcohol Overdose 

Every year 1,700 college students die from alcohol-related injuries, including motor vehicle crashes. Some of these students die as a result of alcohol poisoning. It’s important for students to be aware of their limits. Plan ahead, think now about your reasons to drink or not drink. Make a choice to be safe. Use protective behaviors when partying. Be aware of the symptoms and watch out for your friends.   

Symptoms of Alcohol Overdose: 

  • Person is unconscious and cannot be awakened. 
  • Person does not respond to shaking or pinching. 
  • Person has slow or irregular breathing. 
  • Person has irregular pulse rate. 
  • Person is vomiting while passed out. 
  • Person is cold or clammy and/or has pale or bluish skin color. 
If any of these symptoms are present: 
Call 911 immediately or x4444 if on campus. If you are sober and near a hospital, drive the person for help. Tell police or medical personnel how much the person drank along with symptoms you have observed. Keep the person from choking on vomit by turning them on their side. 
Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If in doubt, seek medical attention. 
911 Lifeline Legislation provides limited immunity for possessing or consuming alcohol to a minor who calls 911 because someone is a possible victim of alcohol poisoning.
(Information provided by Texas Department of State Health Services) 

Workshops on Alcohol Poisoning are available by request. 

Address & Other Contact Information: 

University Counselor/Coordinator of AOD Programming 

Claudia Ayala, LPC-S, LCDC