Alcohol Risk Reduction

The goal of our alcohol risk-reduction program is to provide comprehensive programming and resources for the prevention and reduction of alcohol-related harms. We do this by utilizing evidence-based approaches that focus on environmental strategies and high-risk drinking behavior. For more information, call (269) 387-3263.

How to be safe and responsible

graphic of solo cup measurementWhat to know

  • Do the math:
    one drink = 12 oz. beer
    one drink = 4 to 5 oz. of wine
    one drink = 1 oz. of hard alcohol
  • Binge- or problem-drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks on one occasion
  • Any amount of alcohol can impair judgment—more so under certain conditions
  • Our body metabolizes approximately one alcoholic drink per hour—there is no way of speeding it up
  • Drinking while engaging in sexual behavior can increase risk for sexual assault, transmitting STIs and unplanned pregnancies
  • Alcohol is a drug—it is an addictive substance that changes our brain chemistry and can cause chemical dependency

How to be safe

  • Drink no more than one drink per hour
  • If you are going somewhere, make sure to have a designated driver
  • Try not to drink when you are having emotional distress—do something else: exercise, call a friend, read a book or find a way to relax

Plan ahead

  • Eat before you drink anything
  • Ask a friend to keep an eye on you
  • Set a limit on how many drinks you’re going to have
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Prepare to say no if you’re offered drinks by others

How to help someone else

What to look for:

  • Are they drinking regularly?
  • How many drinks are they having in one sitting?
  • Are they saying that it’s affecting their health?
  • Are they suffering from any mental health problems?
  • Are they drinking when they are sad, unhappy, anxious or stressed?
  • Do they have a family history of alcohol or other drug abuse/addiction?
  • Are their friends and loved ones expressing concern about their drinking?

What to do:

If you think there’s a problem, ask questions—some examples are:

  • How many times a week or month do you drink?
  • How many drinks do you usually have?
  • Do you know what binge drinking is?
  • Do you have a family history of alcohol or other drug abuse/addiction?
  • Do you drink when you are sad, unhappy, anxious or stressed?
  • Are you sexually active? 
    If yes, do you most often have sex while you are drinking?
  • Are you aware of the laws relating to alcohol? 
    Do you know that you can get cited for drinking in public or otherwise causing a disturbance while drinking?
  • If you drink, do you make sure that you are safe?
  • What concerns do you have about your drinking?
  • Have your friends or loved ones expressed concern about your drinking?
  • Have you been treated for alcohol or drugs in the past?
  • Are you aware of resources to get help?

If students or patients are hesitant or uncomfortable to disclose information, provide handouts or information about websites they can go to for help:

Let them know that they are not alone, and it’s okay to get help. Encourage them to moderate their behavior. If students or patients don’t show signs of habitual drinking or abuse of alcohol or other substances, you can make sure they know their risks and how to be safe.

Where to get help

On-campus resources

Behavioral Health Services at Unified Clinics provides a wide range of treatment and intervention services 
1000 Oakland Drive (East Campus)
(269) 387-7000

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Find meetings at the Alcoholics Anonymous website.

Community resources

Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
615 East Crosstown Parkway
(269) 373-6000 or (888) 373-6200

Elizabeth Upjohn Community Healing Center
2615 Stadium Drive
(269) 343-1651

Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program
519 South Park
(269) 383-0450 

New Directions Counseling
5380 Holiday Terrace
(269) 372-0961

Pine Rest - Kalamazoo Clinic
1530 Nichols Road
(866) 852-4001
(800) 678-5500 (24 hours)

MAPS (formerly Gateway)
1910 Shaffer St. 
(269) 382-9820

Online resources

Education and research
College Drinking-Changing the Culture
American College Health Association
Facts about binge drinking

Substance abuse and addiction
CAGE Screening Test for Alcohol Dependence