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Reminder: Information will be kept confidential and will NOT be posted with your name attached. The questions and responses that are posted will reflect the themes of questions and responses that are submitted.

If you would like to respond to any question, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Thank you.

This is website is an open forum; the responses to questions are not necessarily the views of the Keys to Drinking project team or Hope College.

What questions do you have?:

Question Number 1
How much alcohol is a long island ice tea?

Response 1:
The Long Island Iced Tea (LIIT) is the basis of many elaborate mixed-drinks. It dates to the 70's, named after the USA's largest island, Long Island, in New York. Although it doesn't contain tea, it's taste is similar. The drink sits in the top 5 of most popular cocktails and is regularly mentioned or seen served in television and films (worthy mentions are The Simpsons, Sex and the City and Cruel Intentions).

In a "to the recipe" or a "standard pour" of a long Island Iced Tea it is 1 shot of vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec and 1 and 1/2 shots of sweet and sour mix and a splash of Coca-Cola®.

Response 2:
So, "to the recipe", that's four shots of 80  proof liquor and one of 40 proof liqueur!  Four and a half drinks!  And that would be in a smallish (12-14 oz) "highball" drink glass.  The mega-sized LIIT you can get at some local chain restaurants might be double that!  So sip one of these over 4.5-9 hours if you want to stick to the 1:1 if at all strategy!  YIKES!!!!

Question Number 2
What are ways I can sober up faster?

Response 1:
TIME... that's it... hot or cold showers, coffee, sleep, etc. all do essentially nothing.  Sad but true.  Your body has to metabolize the alcohol (though getting rid of any alcohol still in your system by vomiting or having your stomach pumped will eliminate the time needed to metabolize that bit of alcohol).  Your rate of metabolism is influenced by gender, size/weight, lean muscle mass, and to a limited extent by genetics/heredity/individual variation.  The traditional sobering up strategies have little to no effect on your rate of metabolism!  Generally speaking, an average metabolism is one drink (one 1.5 oz shot, one 12 oz beer, one 5 oz glass of wine) per hour.  Hence the 1:1 if at all campaign.

Response 2:
The liver can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol per hour, no matter how much alcohol has been consumed.

Several factors influence this metabolic rate.  Women, in general, metabolize alcohol at a slower rate than men and deal with higher blood alcohol levels than a male drinking the same amount.  Food slows down this process.  Proper hydration assists the body in this process.

 What does all this mean?  You can't significantly change how fast your body eliminates alcohol from its system.

 You can assist this process by drinking water and other non-alcoholic drinks to hydrate your system and help move toxins.

 The BEST way to "sober up" is to "be sober" when deciding how much alcohol to drink and how fast.  Stick to the 1:1 "if at all" standards and you won't have to deal with the question of "sobering up" at all.

Response 3:
There are not really any ways to sober up faster.  Things like a cold shower or a cup of coffee can make you FEEL more sober, but you are no less drunk than you were before the shower or coffee. The only thing that really works is TIME.

Drinking water and eating crackers, bread or other carbs can help you to feel better as well (settle your stomach and maybe ease a headache), but it's still just a matter of time before you are sober.

Question Number 3
My friend told me that when my girlfriend and I have sex after we've had a few beers that I could be charged for rape. Is this crazy?

Response 1:
No, it's not crazy at Hope College, we have a policy that says you have to have verbal concent before having any sexual activity.  Even if you have both been drinking, you both have to say yes.

If your girlfriend is really drunk, then she can't give concent, because she is legally impaired.

So, then that would be rape.

Question Number 4
How do I know if my friend has had too much to drink?

Response 1:
Remember the 1:1 (if at all) standards.  If someone is drinking more than 1 drink per hour, their system is not able to keep up with metabolizing the alcohol; therefore, they begin to get drunk.

 If your friend is drinking more than one drink per hour, then things get dicey.  Your friend has had too much to drink if:

 1.  reflexes and reasoning are impaired.
 2.  they pass out or "black" out or just cannot "stay awake."
 3.  their skin color is mottled or bluish.
 4.  they are vomiting.
 5.  they can't walk or manage simple motor tasks.
 6.  they are experiencing huge mood swings.
 7.  they seem to be in a state of stupor.
 8.  their breathing is irregular or interrupted.

 In any of the above cases -- do ONE thing.  GET HELP!  Seriously.  The worst thing that you can do for your friend is try to "keep them safe" by letting them "sleep it off."

 know what to do.

 If you don't feel like you can bring your friend back to campus...we want to hear about it and why!


Question Number 5
If I come back to campus drunk, will I get in trouble?

Response 1:
That depends on you.
 If you have decided to drink so much that you come home, puke all over the bathrooms, exchange a few choice words with your hallmates, stagger and fall up the stairs and pass out in the hall (or any combination of the above).  You are already in trouble because you have drank too much for your system to properly deal with.  In these cases, your body is sending clear signals that its dealing with too much alcohol.

 Given the above scenario, more than likely there will be a few people working to keep you safe, not least of which will be a Res Life staff member -- which is probably what you mean by "getting in trouble."

 If you drink legally and return campus fully under control.  More than likely you will walk up the stairs, share a few conversations and head to bed just like any other day.

Question Number 5B
So I can't be written up if an RA smells alcohol on my breath as I come into the building? Basically, I can't get written up for looking drunk, can I?

No, As long as you are still respectful and are under control nothing can happen to you.

Question Number 6
So many Christians say drinking is wrong.  What does the Bible say about drinking?

Question Number 6b
Noah was a why do so many Christians frown on alcohol, even if it isn't abused?

Response 1:
The bible discusses taking part in all things in moderation. This means to simply not over-indulge in these things. If you cannot drink without getting drunk then that could be a problem. However, controlled, responsible drinking should be okay.

 However, keep in mind that everyone has their own limitations, especially around topics like alcohol. So what works for you might not work for your friends. Do what's best for you, Enjoy yourself, be smart!!

Response 2:
The Bible, specifically in Romans 14, talks about not being judgmental and causing one another to stumble (in that particular example referencing food).  The word stumble there refers sinning against ones self or another.

 We can apply drinking to this scripture passage.   I may personally feel that having a drink or two with friends or dinner without becoming drunk is not wrong.  My friend, coworker, family member, or roommate might personally believe drinking is wrong due to personal conviction or perhaps are recovering alcoholics.

 Romans 13v13 plainly points out among several other sins, drunkenness is sin.  It does not say have a drink or two.  The  second greatest commandment in the Bible, Matthew 22:39, says that we are to love our neighbor, which means not offending them.

 So, if I choose to drink in moderation without becoming drunk I'm following what the Bible says and expects not to sin.  If I choose not to drink in front of thos!
 e who are offended by it I'm not sinning either and drinking is not sinful or wrong.
 If I'm drinking around them or offer them alcohol and it offends them, I've sinned against them.   If I have alcohol around or offer it to them and this enables them to start drinking and they choose to become drunk, not only have they sinned, but I have also sinned by causing them to stumble.

 The best thing to do is to simply love your neighbor and our of respect ask them if being around alcohol or consuming alcohol offends them or not.  From there it's personal choice on your behalf of how much you consume.

Response to 6b 1:
Wow! What a twisty question! Three points might un-tangle this question.

 1) If Noah is inapporiately being a drunkard, then your example IS about abusing alcohol, so why do you include a phrase about not abusing in the comparison?

 2) Being a drunkard is different than drinking alcohol. Maybe even different than being drunk.  Which of the three are you talking about?  Which are Christians against?

 3) A story in the Bible is different than the Bible promoting something.  A whole lot of killing, sex, back-stabbing, drinking, and other mayhem in the Bible doesn't mean the Bible advocates such things!

Question Number 7
Can I get charged with an MIP if I am caught under the influence, even if I do not have any alcohol on me?

Response 1:
Yes. Michigan's alcohol policy for minors makes it illegal to consume alcohol. According to Michigan, your body is a container, and if there is any alcohol in your system, you can be charged with a MIP.

Response 2:
Technically yes you can get a M.I.P without having alcohol on you, but in you.  Your body is considered a container.

Question Number 7 b
Can MIPs really affect my future?

Question Number 7 c
I've heard that an MIP or a record at my undergrad institution can prevent me from getting into graduate school, medical/dental/law school, etc.  Is this true or is it just hype to try and keep me from drinking?

Respone to 7C 1:
My brother-in-law just completed law school.  As part of his entry requirements, he had to submit a complete record of ANY violations of the law. This includes traffic violations, MIP's and weightier offenses.  It is possible that admittance to law school would be denied (especially if other candidates present a clearer record).

Question Number 8
I go out and have 7 or 8 drinks thursday, friday and saturday night. One night I lost my phone because I was blacking out. Do I have a drinking problem?

Response 1:
Yes, because a person who has more than 4 to 5 drinks on any occasion and in addition to  that person going out more frequently during the the week, suggests that they are probably drinking more to get the same affect( as they did when they first starting drinking). This pattern tends to be an indicator that leads to alcohol dependence.

Response 2:
Also, if your drinking gets in the way of typical daily functions, that also is a big indicator that it may be a problem. Keeping track of a cell phone definately falls into that category.

Question Number 9
What does it really mean to be an alcoholic?

Response 1:
Alcoholics are referred to as excessive drinkers who dependence on alcohol is characterized by incresased tolerance, loss of control and prolonged benders(binging). They tend to show noticeable distrubances that interfer with physical health, mental health, emotional, interpersonal/social relationships, and economic stressors.

Response 2:
You may be moving toward alcoholism if alcohol has become a "coping" method for dealing with life.  If alcohol becomes the means by which you deal with your day, your relationships, or the press of your schedule; these are clear danger signs.

 Another indicator may be the inability to say "no" to another drink or even to the first drink.

 If you are concerned that you might be dealing with alcoholism, the sooner you talk to someone "in the know" the better.  Alcoholism is a serious disease.  The Hope College counseling center can confidentially assess your situation.


Question Number 10
There is a problem with Minors drinking in my dorm... what is your advice if your roomate is hiding alcohol in a shared fridge in your room in a water bottle container?

Response 1:
Alcohol can be a serious problem at Hope. A lot of the rules are not taken as seriously but this one is for some reason. I would recommend really asking him to get it out of there just because you do not want to be roped into a violation because he has it in the fridge against your liking.

Response 2:
The best thing for you to do with your roommate having alcohol in your room is to first confront them respectfully and ask them to get rid of it.  If they do not, as it may feel like ratting your roommate out you should ask a Residential Life staff member to confront the situation.  If you do not take action and know about it, according to college policy you're just as responsible.

Response 3:
Talk to your RA or RD. Chances are that you will not get "in trouble" as you are the one reporting it and seeking advice/help on how to deal with the situation. I know it is hard, but if you work with Residential Life, they can help you with the situation and perhaps when it comes time for them to address it you won't have to be there and it can look like an anonymous tip off. I have seen this happen many times. If you don't even want to deal with Residential Life, one night/day when you know your roommate is in your room with said alcohol just casually leave the room (say you're going to the movies, frisbee golf, whatever) and call campus safety to make an anonymous report (it will be anonymous).
 Yes, these suggestions avoid talking to your roommate, but I know that sometimes talking about an issue like alcohol can be difficult and perhaps when your roommate's alcohol finally catches up to her, she will mention it to you and you can start a conversat!
 ion from there.

 Drinking in dorms IS a problem, and contrary to what some might say, it has always been a big problem. However, that issue will never change unless those individuals who are directly effected start to stand up for themselves and allow the "offenders" to have a consequence to their actions (maybe it will be a wake up call).

Question Number 11
Why does hope college advise women to NEVER drink more than 4 times a week (even if it's responsibly) when multiple studies have been recently published showing the benefits of a daily glass of wine?

Response 1:
Who advised you that Hope College suggests that women (specifically) should not drink more than four times a week?  I am not aware of any official position suggesting this.

 Several studies do indicate that red wine can be beneficial; even so, there are many healthy alternatives that will provide similar benefits.

 Please remember that women do metabolize alcohol differently than men. Some studies indicate that a woman is more susceptible to alcohol related problems (damage to liver, etc.)

 As you make decisions regarding whether or not to drink red wine for its health benefits; do weigh the possible complications and the alternatives to achieving the same outcomes.


Question Number 12
Why does Hope have a dry campus?  Since we can go off campus and drink wouldn't it just be safer to drink here and not worry about the chance of getting caught by the cops or people taking the risk of driving?

Response 1:
Any college's decision to be a "dry campus" includes many variables.

 Decisons like this are made to fit within the organization's overall mission and posture.

 Organizations are concerned with insurance implications, legal interests, funding ramifications, health concerns as well as ethical and moral considerations.

 Hope is not "any" organization. The college cares about its students; that definitely factors in.

Question Number 13
Is it true that you really can't tell that a date rape drug may be in your drink?  Can't you smell or taste it?

Response 1:
It is very true that you cannot smell or taste it.  Date rape drugs are very scary and serious.  Take it from a fellow student who has been date rape drugged and raped more than once.  Even if you are the most responsible person, it can happen.  Make sure YOU see the drink being made, and never accept a drink from a stranger who walks up to you with it -- never.  And always go out with a friend or two, just in case something does happen, because the drug can even be put in water -- its happened to me.

Response 2:
Many different date rape drugs are made (or occur naturally) that do not affect the color or taste of a drink.  That is why they are so effective.  Alcohol can cover the taste of most things including these drugs and then the alcohol will magnify the effects of the drugs.  The drugs do not leave a taste or smell in your drink so you should never leave your drink somewhere.  Always keep it with you and never accept a drink that has been poured for you unless you saw them open the container and pour it in front of you.

Response 3:
Yes, this is true.  Whenever you accept a drink from someone and you have not seen the drink poured or opened, you accept a degree of risk.  The old addage, "Mind your P's and Q's" -- that is, "Mind your pints and quarts" is important advice.

 To keep yourself safe(r), stay away from parties where you do not know folks, do not accept drinks from ANYONE, and keep anything (alcoholic or not) you are drinking in your own hand.

 If you think you have encountered a date rape drug; tell a friend immediately and have them call for help.

 If you think your friend has been slipped a date rape drug -- DO NOT WALK AWAY.  They need you to get help for them immediately.

 Please do not leave them to a "friend" of the opposite sex to take care of them.

Question Number 14
Sometimes when I drink I wake up and my bed is all wet. do you lose bladder control when you are drunk, why is that?

Response 1:
Alcohol is a depressent.  It begins to shut the body down and slows physiological responses; thus bladder control can be affected by the drug.

 Obviously, the more alcohol you drink, the greater the chance that you will not only lose control of your bladder, but also of other functions.

 Chances are if you are losing bladder control, you need to look critically at how much you are drinking.  What other systems are shutting down that you are not noticing?

 This can be dangerous stuff.

Question Number 14b
I have a friend that gets so drunk that he/she pees in his/her pants when he/she is passed out.  I think about how he/she shouldn't drink as much, but it is just too funny to not let him/her get hammered.  What should I do?

Response 14b 1:
Friends don't "let" friends get hammered.  If your friend is passing out and losing bladder control, he/she may be experiencing alcohol poisoning.

 On the other hand, nobody can truly accept responsiblity for another. You can urge them to drink less and/or assist them in getting help.

 A friend's responsibility is NOT to be someone's alcohol-sitter.  A friend's responsiblity is to GET a friend HELP!

 Have a conversation with your RD or a trusted faculty member about this.


Question Number 15
My question mostly concerns the question of if we are so strongly againts drinking here at Hope College...Why on our official Hope College web site is there access for greek life members to learn tips on how to throw a great BYOB party. Doesn't this slightly contrast with what this website is trying to achieve?


Question Number 16
I will only hook up with my boyfriend when I am drunk, so I think that he tries to get me more drunk on purpose.  What should I do?


Question Number 17
What is high-risk about a 20 year old having a beer with friends that isn't for a 21 year old doing the same thing?

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