College graduation

Celebrate Graduation and Beach Week With Smart Choices!

Although special events like graduation and beach week are a time for celebration, it’s important to be safe and make smart choices. Parties can turn dangerous and sometimes tragic. Remember to NEVER drink alcohol and drive, or accept a ride with someone who has been drinking.

Understanding Alcohol’s Effects

The way your body reacts to alcohol depends on your gender, weight, rate of alcohol consumption and mood.

Here are some of the effects alcohol can have on your body.

  • Alcohol alters your ability to make decisions.
  • Alcohol impairs your judgment.
  • Alcohol gives a false sense of self-confidence.
  • Alcohol gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which means the entire body becomes impaired.
  • Alcohol delays reaction time.
  • Alcohol impairs motor skills, like coordination and balance.
  • Alcohol greatly reduces your inhibitions, making you do things you would never do when sober.
  • Alcohol alters memory.

Help Your Friends When They Need It

Sometimes your friends need to be reminded that you can have fun without participating in risky behaviors. Be proud of your healthy choices and help those around you to be healthier too.

  • USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM. Leave with the friends you came with and have each other’s back!
  • KNOW WHO TO CALL. Parents, older siblings and your friend’s parents are all good resources when you need help. Have contact information for multiple people with you when you go out.
  • TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING. Make sure a trusted adult knows what your plans are. Give them the address of where you’ll be located and make sure they know how to contact any adults in charge.
  • HAVE YOUR PHONE CHARGED. Keep your phone charged so you can easily contact someone if you need help.
  • UNDERSTAND YOUR RISK. Alcohol can give a false sense of security, which can make you think that you are in a safe situation when you are actually in danger. Don’t let anyone pressure you to stay in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable. Leave if you feel uneasy.
  • STEP IN. If you recognize someone is in a dangerous situation, take steps to get that person help by assuming responsibility and ensuring their safety.

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The mission of Virginia ABC Education and Prevention is to eliminate underage and high-risk drinking by building the capacity for communities to educate individuals and prevent alcohol misuse.