Alcohol and Drug Safety

The College of Saint Benedict seeks to encourage and sustain an academic environment that respects individual freedoms and promotes the health, safety, and welfare of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  As adults, students, faculty, staff and visitors are expected to know and obey the applicable laws and all college rules and regulations and to be responsible for their own behavior.


Alcohol and Drug Safety Tips

Taking care of yourself

  • Don't drink beverages that you did not open yourself.
  • Don't share or exchange drinks with someone.
  • Don't take a drink from a punch bowl.
  • Don't drink from a container that is passed around.
  • If possible, bring your own drinks to parties.
  • Never leave your drink unattended!  Whether talking, dancing, using the restroom, making a phone call, etc., keep your drink in your hand or closeby.
  • If you realize that your drink has been left unattended, discard it.
  • Don't drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance (e.g., salty taste, excessive foam, unexplained residue).
  • Don't let your guard down.
  • Stay in the company of good friends.
  • Use good judgment and know your limitations.

Watching out for your friends

  • Appoint a designated sober person when you go to parties, clubs, or bars.  Have a plan to periodically check up on each other
  • If one of your friends appears to be very intoxicated, gets sick after drinking a beverage, passes out and is difficult to awaken, seems to have difficulty breathing, or is behaving in an uncharacteristic way, take steps to ensure your friends safety.  If necessary, call 911 for emergency medical assistance.
  • If you see or hear that someone is "dosing" a drink or a punch bowl, intervene.  Confront the person, warn potential victims, discard the drink, and get help.
  • Warn friends about high risk situations, such as clubs where "dosing" is known to have occurred

Facts About Alcohol

  • A straight shot of liquor will reach the brain and alter behavior faster than one beer or glass of wine.
  • "Expectancy effects" may influence the drinking experience and influence the behavior and attitudes even with little alcohol consumption.
  • An 80 proof bottle of alcohol means 40% pure alcohol.
  • The body absorbs liquid at body temperature.  Warm beer is closer to this temperature that cold beer, so it is absorbed faster into the blood stream.
  • Blood alcohol levels of .45 can cause death by respiratory arrest.
  • Exercise, coffee, and showers will not speed up the sobering process.
  • The average person needs about one hour to completely metabolize the alcohol in one standard drink.
  • Sleeping is altered after drinking all evening.
  • The illegal intoxication limit in Minnesota is .08.
  • A blackout is a memory loss or alcohol-induced amnesia.

Alcohol's Effects On The Body

A number of factors can affect the level of intoxication caused by alcohol.

  • Speed of drinking: The more rapidly the beverage is ingested, the higher the peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  The liver metabolizes about 1/2 ounce of alcohol per hour.
  • Presence of food in the stomach: Eating while drinking slows down the absorption rate.  When alcoholic beverages are taken with a substantial meal, peak BAC may be reduced by as much as 50%.
  • Other chemicals in the beverage: The greater the amount of nonalcoholic chemicals in the beverage, the more slowly the alcohol is absorbed (e.g., vodka is absorbed more rapidly than beer or wine.)
  • Body weight: The larger person has more blood and requires greater amounts of alcohol to reach a given BAC.
  • Drinking history/tolerance: Increasing amounts of alcohol are needed to result in the physical and behavioral reactions formerly produced at  lesser concentrations, if there is a long history of drinking.
  • Environment: There may be differences in alcohol's affects, depending on where one drinks (e.g., local bar, with family, hostile environment, etc).
  • The drinker's expectations: Many people become intoxicated on less alcohol merely because they have that expectation before they begin drinking.
  • General state of emotional and physical health: Many people seem more susceptible to the effects of alcohol when they are extremely fatigued, have recently been ill, or are under emotional stress and strain.  The usual amount of alcohol may result in uncomfortable effects.
  • Other drugs: Prescription, over-the-counter, illicit, and unrecognized drugs all have potential reactions with alcohol.  One should be aware of the possible additive and synergistic effects when these drugs are mixed with alcohol.

If you have questions regarding your health as related to alcohol use, please contact the CSB Health Advocates at 320-363-5753 or the Health Educator at 320-363-5653, or feel free to contact Counseling Services at CSB at 320-363-5605 (ext. 3791 at SJU).

Alcohol Related Emergencies

Typically, students are responsible about alcohol use and problems do not develop.  But, what if someone is drunk and an "alcohol-related emergency" does occur?  What do you do?  Here are some basic--but essential--procedures you can follow in a situation where someone is drunk:

  • Stay calm and don't communicate any feelings of anxiety.
  • Contact your RA, RD, or Campus Security for assistance and a medical assessment.
  • Before approaching or touching the person, explain what you intend to do in a direct and reassuring manner.
  • Keep the person still and comfortable.  Don't let him or her walk unattended.
  • Do not administer any food, drink, or medication--including aspirin or vitamins.  Consumption of such materials may cause stomach distress.
  • Do not ridicule or threaten the person.
  • Do not let the person sleep on his or her back.  Death from choking on inhaled vomit may result.  Place the person on his or her side, with one arm extended above the head. 
  • Keep a sober person nearby to watch for signs of trouble.

One or more of the following constitutes a medical emergency. Call 911!

  • The person is unconscious and cannot be wakened
  • Breathing is irregular and/or shallow
  • You suspect that alcohol has been mixed with other drugs
  • His or her skin is clammy, pale, or grey in color
  • The person vomits while passed out and does not wake up during or after, or the person cannot care for themselves if they vomit

If you are uncertain if a medical emergency exists, contact CSB Security right away for a medical assessment (320-363-5000).

Notice To All Students Regarding Drug Use

The use of illegal drugs poses both a health risk and a risk of criminal prosecution. The use, sale, possession, or facilitation of the use or sale of any illegal drug(s) is prohibited. Violations could result in arrest by the St. Joseph Police Department or other law enforcement agency and/or referral to the College Judicial Board for discipline or dismissal.

The College of Saint Benedict has a special obligation to take action in cases in which a student's illegal activities impinge on the rights of others. All students have the right to pursue an education in an environment conducive to the educational process.  Drug use or the sale of drugs on College of Saint Benedict property affects other people as well as yourself. Responsible officials at the College of Saint Benedict include administration, deans, faculty, staff, other students, campus security officers, residence directors, and residence assistants. These people cannot ignore such activity.

At the same time, you should be aware that our goal is to solve problems, not create them. We do not want to punish people for the sake of punishment; we would prefer to work with students to create an atmosphere on campus that is mature, responsible and safe. In particular, if you feel you have a problem involving drugs and need help with it, please do not hesitate to consult any of us about it: your resident assistant, your residence director, the dean of students, counseling services, health educators, health advocates, campus ministry, or campus security.  If you feel that another student is at risk medically or academically because of substance abuse, please consider the possibility that you could be doing him or her a favor by discussing it with them or one of us before a small problem becomes a big one.

For additional information about health risks of various recreational drugs, contact the health advocates at 320-363-5753 or a health educator at 320-363-5653.  

Drug Related Emergencies

Signs that you may have been drugged

  • If you feel a lot more intoxicated than your usual response to the amount of alcohol you consumed.
  • If you wake up very hung over, feeling "fuzzy", experiencing memory lapse, and cannot account for a period of time.
  • If you remember taking a drink but cannot recall what happened for a period of time after you consumed the drink.
  • If you feel as though someone had sex with you but you cannot remember any or all of the incident.

If you think you may have been drugged

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Get help immediately
  • Call the Police, SJPD, and Stearns County Sheriff at 911
  • Call CSB Campus Security at 320-363-5000 or SJU Life Safety at 320-363-2144
  • Get Medical Care: Go to a hospital emergency department as soon as possible for an examination and evidence collection. Call the St. Cloud hospital at 320-251-4357
  • Request that the hospital take a urine sample for blood toxicology testing to be done by your law enforcement agency's crime lab.  
  • Preserve as much physical evidence as possible.  Do not urinate, shower, bathe, douche, or throw away the clothing you were wearing during the incident.  If possible, save any materials that might provide evidence, such as the glass that held your drink.
  • Contact any one of the following numbers for more help:
    • Central MN Sexual Assault Center (Crisis Line):  320-251-4357   
    • CSB Security:  320-363-5000
    • SJU Life Safety:  320-363-2144
    • CSB/SJU Human Rights Office:  320-363-5485
    • Your Resident Assistant or Faculty Resident