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Middle Earth – Students helping students

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By Middle Earth Program

Weekly Column 

midearth@albany.edu 

Welcome to the Middle Earth Roots column! As a campus hotline service, peer education program, and peer career advisement service staffed by trained University at Albany students, we are launching this column to talk about health-related issues that are most important to students. If you have a suggestion for a topic that you would like Middle Earth to cover in a future column, please email us at midearth@ albany.edu.

While one in four UAlbany students choose not to drink alcohol, here are some strategies to reduce risks related to alcohol use for those students who choose to drink alcohol.

Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or other non-alcoholic beverages.

Drink only with close friends that you know and trust.

Have a plan for a safe way to get home by either designating a sober driver before going out, having the phone numbers of taxi services in your phone (and be sure to have money for cab fare), or plan on catching the bus back home.

– Pace yourself to one drink per hour.

– Eat food before and while you are drinking alcohol.

– Drink plenty of water before drinking alcohol.

– Avoid drinking games.

– Avoid drinking alcohol if sad, angry, or upset.

– Don’t leave your drink unattended and Don’t Drink the Juice! (“Jungle Juice” that is). While most students who choose to drink alcohol are careful about not leaving their drinks unattended for fear of being drugged, Jungle Juice served at parties is a bigger threat to a student’s well being since students have no idea what is put into the juice despite what someone might tell them.

Want the good news? Most UAlbany students are already making positive choices when it comes to consuming alcoho1. Join your peers during the 23rd Annual Alcohol Awareness Week to learn more about what really goes on at UAlbany in regard to alcohol use. There are many free programs you can attend, as well as plenty of opportunities for free food, giveaways, and chances to win all kinds of cool prizes such as gift cards to the mall! Programs are listed below.

THE REAL WORLD: UALBANY, October 15 8 p.m. – Performing Arts Center

DRINKING GAMES: THE HUMAN BOARD GAME, October 16 8 p.m. – State Quad Penthouse

GAMES AFTER DARK, October 17 anytime from 8 p.m. until midnight, Campus Center Commons

If you would like to talk to a trained peer about alcohol use, you can call the Middle Earth Peer Assistance hotline at 518-442-5777. The Middle Earth Peer Assistance hotline is free, anonymous, and open when classes at the University at Albany are in session during the academic year (September through May).

The hotline hours are from 1 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 24 hours on the weekends beginning on Friday at 1 p.m. and ending on Sunday at midnight.

If you have questions about alcohol use in general or would like to talk to a professional confidentially about your own or someone else’s alcohol use, there is a great option for you. If you are a University at Albany student, you can make an appointment at the University Counseling Center with a mental health professional to discuss this subject further. There’s even an Addictive Behaviors Specialist on campus who is a licensed psychologist and his name is Dr. Brian Freidenberg. To make an appointment with him or any of the psychologists at the Counseling Center, call 518-442-5800. Additional information about services that the Counseling Center offers can be found at albany.edu/counseling_center

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