"Be SAFER" is the slogan for the ADAI and a message that permeates throughout all of our efforts. With every campus event, presentation, or other effort we want to remind everyone to “Be SAFER!” This message isn’t new; in fact, we are frequently reminded that we should always “Be Safe”. We are advised to wear seat belts when driving cars, helmets when riding on bikes, and not to leave burning candles unattended. The reason we are advised to take these precautions is to keep us free from harm or danger. This applies to alcohol and drugs as well. When either of these are involved we are more prone to potential harm or danger. Unfortunately, we can’t completely eliminate all harm or danger. Also, it’s up to you whether or not to drink. Therefore, our message to you is to “Be SAFER!”
When it comes to alcohol & drugs, “Be SAFER!” isn’t as simple as putting on a seat belt. There’s a number of things that you need to do to be safer. So, “Be SAFER” isn’t just a message, it’s an acronym that helps you remember the things that need to be done.
“Be SAFER” requires you to be “safe”, “assertive”, “fun(ctional)”, “educated”, and “responsible”.
Many of us may have heard this before. Whenever anyone tells us to “Be Safe” it is because something that we may be doing leaves us prone to harm. This is especially the case with alcohol and drugs where simply using them or being around people that are increases the risk of harm or danger. The state of intoxication that alcohol and drugs creates alters your mood, thoughts, and behavior. This makes it more likely for people to get into fights, have car accidents, and do or say things that may compromise their well-being. So, if alcohol or drugs are involved, remember to “Be Safe”.
Luckily, the threats to our safety that alcohol and drugs can create are not inevitable. To be safe remember that you can designate a driver, if you go out, go with a few friends, and take other precautions to stay safe.
Assertiveness is a characteristic we all hope to have. When we’re assertive, our thoughts, opinions, and behavior are not swayed by what other people might think. With alcohol and drugs, we are prone to peer pressure and might second-guess our actions based on what other people might think. This can lead us to do things that we otherwise wouldn’t such as drink irresponsibly or use harmful drugs. Sometimes, when other people try to get you to do these things it might be hard to say ‘no’.
In being assertive you can also be the voice of reason when it’s not the popular decision. In situations where your friends may have had too much to drink or drive drunk they might need someone around to remind them to be safe. A number of bad things can be avoided if someone is assertive enough to speak out against it. Assertiveness is important because stopping bad things from happening isn’t unpopular; speaking out is.
In college people often drink to have fun with their friends. Thing might include, drinking at a bar/club, a house party, or with dinner. Realize that more alcohol would might mean more impairment as opposed to more fun. So, if you choose to drink, know your limits.
Have fun, but remain functional.
Did you know that…
- Irresponsible alcohol & drug use has been shown to lead to poorer academic performance, lower lifetime earnings, and fewer job promotions?
- For aspiring criminal justice and education professionals, an alcohol or drug violation can make it very difficult to find a job in the field?
- Over 2/3 of domestic violence cases in involve alcohol?
- For someone that has 2 previous DWIs a 3rd violation would be a felony. A minimum of a 2 year sentence
The list goes on… Be educated on how alcohol and drugs can affect your health, as well as your personal and professional lives. This will enable you to make smart and educated decisions that do not compromise you future.
Where they all come together, the take home message is to “Be Responsible”. The message isn’t to not drink, but to be responsible if you choose to drink. Alcohol use is common, but we also see the potential harm that it can cause pretty often. Being responsible demands being safe, assertive, functional, and educated when it comes to alcohol. So, don’t drive drunk, look out for your friends, know your limits, know the facts, and “Be Responsible”.