Sokolow teaches about ‘buzzing’

By on March 8, 2006

“Every college student in America drinks out of the same cup,” said Brett Sokolow in reference to Solo cups. “And what color are Solo cups?” he asked. The audience replied, “Red.”

Sokolow, president of the Malvern, Pa.-based National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, gave a presentation titled “10 Things Every College Students Should Know About Drinking.” He spoke to Quinnipiac students in Alumni Hall on March 1 about high- and low-risk drinking.

Alcohol consumption from Solo cups is considered to be a form of high-risk drinking, Sokolow said. One cup contains 16 fluid ounces or one and one-third beers at the ribbon. Sokolow warned that it is harder for students to “control quantity” when they drink from containers that do not specify exact ounces. Examples of high-risk containers or behaviors are funnels, straws, shot glasses, keg stands, power hours and shot-gunning. Cans and bottles are considered low risk.

“Every idiot can take their hand and connect it to their mouth and drink,” Sokolow said. The alternative to getting “drunk, hammered, smashed and nailed” is ‘buzzing,’ a moderate form of consuming alcohol. “For me, ‘buzzing’ is an art form. It’s actually an art form. And I am an artist,” Sokolow said.

‘Buzzing’ is a skill set to controlling alcohol. Sokolow advisesed a plan for moderate consumption in which students should ask themselves how much alcohol, what kind of alcohol and from whom they will accept a drink. “Learn your buzz. Become a buzz artist. It’s not comfortable to sleep in a bathtub,” Sokolow said.

Sokolow also commented on the legal issues surrounding drinking out of common-source containers, such as punch bowls, garbage cans, ‘party-balls,’ ‘beer-bongs’ and kegs. According to Sokolow, “Kegs are banned across almost every American college campus.”

In the event of an accident proceeding common source container consumption, all insurance coverage is voided, including car, homeowner, renter and health insurance. “Drink out of something other than a common-source container unless served by a licensed vendor,” Sokolow said who wants to protect students.

Sokolow also cautioned students to consider other legal ramifications of consuming alcohol, such as using a fake identification. In the state of Connecticut, it is considered a felony for a minor. They could be fined a minimum of 500 dollars and have their drivers’ license revoked for up to six months.

Sokolow concluded the presentation by dispelling certain myths about alcohol.

“Why do all of you buy into the myth of puking?” Sokolow said. “You don’t throw up alcohol. Alcohol is in your blood.”

It takes a total of 90 seconds for alcohol to hit the blood stream. After a person vomits the food and water contents in their stomach, their blood alcohol level actually increases. Sokolow warned students not to continue drinking after throwing up, as this is a sign of alcohol poisoning. “Pay attention to your own anatomy,” he said. “Your body is pretty smart.”

When asked what common myths were, students responded, “Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before liquor, get sick quicker.”

“Why is that all of you think that your stomach has a separate consciousness for what you drink first and what you drink second?” Sokolow asked students. He dismissed this rumor. Some people can combine different varieties of alcohol, while others cannot because they have an allergy.

Sokolow does not encourage students to drink alcohol, but recognizes that many do. He provides students across the nation with advice on moderate drinking by emphasizing the “best practices for policy, training, and educational programming as proactive risk management,” according to


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