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Learn More about Alcohol and Staying Safe

We know sometimes your plans might involve alcohol. If so, we encourage you to follow safer drinking strategies, understand the law, and learn how to actively step into situations to help keep others safe.  

Avoid party regret

These are the top five smarter-drinking strategies used by Penn State students. 

  1. Eat food or a meal before starting to drink
  2. Set a drink limit at the beginning of the night and stick to it
  3. Keep count of your drinks throughout the night, including the pre-gaming ones
  4. Aim for one standard drink per hour
  5. Stay hydrated, alternate between water and alcohol 

Some other tips to help you stay safe, include: 

  • Go to parties with friends you know and trust; stay with your friends throughout the night
  • Plan a safe way home before going to a party 
  • Designate a sober friend to keep everyone together

Know the law and consequences

Drinking is never okay if you are under 21 years of age and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Penn State residence hall buildings.        

Call 911 - You May Save a Life

Penn State’s Responsible Action Protocol and Pennsylvania’s Medical Amnesty Law protect students from prosecution for consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs when they seek help for a peer.
Learn More

Be a good friend

At Penn State, we care about each other, and we take action. We know how difficult it can be to step in, so we’ve adopted the 4Ds, memorable tactics for interrupting a situation. Learn how to actively step into situations to keep others safe.

Call 911.

  • If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, don’t wait for all the critical signs to be present.
  • Be aware that a person who has passed out may die.
  • If you suspect an alcohol overdose, call 911 immediately for help. Don’t try to guess the level of intoxication.
  • Remember, you are protected by Penn State’s Responsible Action Protocol.

Know the signs of alcohol poisoning.

  • Passed out or difficult to wake
  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
  • Slowed breathing
  • Vomiting while asleep or awake

Know what to do.

  • Call 911. Don’t wait for all signs/symptoms of alcohol poisoning to be present.
  • Turn a vomiting person on his or her side to prevent choking; clear vomit from the mouth.
  • Keep the person awake.
  • NEVER leave the person unattended.

Are you concerned about your alcohol use? 

ScreenU is a free and confidential online screening tool available to help students identify problem behaviors. The tool offers personalized, non-judgmental feedback, and directs students to nearby support resources. You may also want to explore some of the additional resources on this page.