Common protective strategies that students often employ include:
- Going home with a friend.
- Having a friend tell you when you have had too much.
- Drinking water between drinks.
- Refraining from drinking games.
The participants were surveyed before and after their trip, answering questions about:
- Drinking Activities
- Protective Strategies
- Negative Consequences
Lewis points out that even though protective strategies were linked with greater consumption, it does not necessarily mean that they are not helpful with regard to getting home safe. However, she believes that students should focus on both reducing the amount of drinking and the consequences that accompany heavy alcohol consumption.
“When working with college students, we need to focus on why specific strategies are being used,” said Lewis. “For example, it is important for (doctors) to know if someone indicates they are using a designated driver to reduce specific consequences (driving under the influence) but also in order to drink heavily.”
The findings were published in Addictive Behaviors.