Choosing NOT to Drink

Tips for Abstainers

Respect the choice made by your peers who drink responsibly.

Own your abstinence by choosing not to drink.

Have a repertoire of effective responses to minimize pressure to drink.

Recognize alcohol as a potentially potent drug.

If you are sure of your decision not to drink, support it by:
    -Being around friends who support your decision.
    -Attending activities where alcohol is not available. 
    -Going to a party, but bringing your own beverages.

Even if you usually choose to drink, you may choose to support an abstaining peer at a party by not drinking yourself, so that they aren’t “the only one” not drinking.


    Abstaining from Alcohol

    Many Creighton students choose NOT to drink—in fact, in a recent student survey at Creighton, almost 30% of students reported they consumed NO alcohol in the past 30 days and 15% in the past year.  Students find a lot of ways to have fun with friends, roommates, and significant others without drinking.  In fact, if you are intersted, find out 50 WAYS TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT DRINKING.


    Reasons for NOT Drinking

    Approach to a healthy life
    The choice not to drink seems to be getting more popular as students are becoming more concerned with their overall heath.  Many realize how alcohol can lead to numerous health problems – like heart disease, liver disease, and cancer.  Alcohol can also lead to relationship problems, as well as lead to or exasperate psychological and emotional problems. 

    Optimum Academic Performance
    School is a priority for many students.  They know that in order to do their best and get their money’s worth at Creighton, drinking can’t be put high on the list of priorities.  Alcohol has been shown to impede memory formation and prevent one from getting replenishing sleep.  Students report missing classes or doing poorly on a test or paper due to alcohol.  Many Creighton students are looking to attend a graduate or professional school to become a doctor, lawyer, dentist, etc.  Allowing alcohol interfere with their chances of getting into medical or law school just isn’t an option.  All it can take is one night and one poor decision!

    Optimum Athletic Performance
    Drinking alcohol and being an athlete who performs at optimum levels simply do not mix.  Drinking leads to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration—which puts an athlete is at greater risk for musculoskeletal injuries including: cramps, muscle pulls, and muscle strains.  Alcohol also impairs reaction time and mental acuity—two factors athletes rely upon greatly for optimum performance.  Drinking can also lower testosterone levels, which has negative implications for both men and women, and increase fat storage, which leads to lactic acid build up and lower energy levels.  Many student athletes understand that the negative and debilitating effects of drinking alcohol is just not worth it!

    More and more students these days are on various medications— whether they be for allergies, pain, depression, anxiety, ADHD, or others.  Alcohol interacts negatively with more than 150 medications.   Alcohol can also lead to problems in individuals with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, lupus, etc.

    Some students find a conflict between their religious/spiritual beliefs and drinking behavior.  Drinking often leads to behavior that many students feel is not aligned with their spiritual selves and the kind of person they want to be.  Abstaining from alcohol is also a part of many students’ spiritual traditions, from offering up alcohol for Lent to preparing for a Native American ceremony.

    Family history
    Studies suggest that one-in-four people will develop alcoholism, and that percentage is higher for those who have a family history of the disease.  Family studies show that first-degree relatives of alcoholics are three to four times more likely to have alcoholism than first degree relatives of non-alcoholics.   Family history of alcoholism remains the number one risk factor in whether someone will develop alcoholism.  If a student has a family member who struggles with alcoholism or another addiction, he or she may choose to abstain in order to avoid the path to addiction or alcoholism.

    Personal experience
    Many students choose not to drink because they have had a close personal experience—oftentimes tragic—that is tied to alcohol use or abuse.  Whether someone was abused by an alcoholic father or had a brother who was killed by a drunk driver—many tragic stories become compelling reasons NOT to drink for students

    Some students choose not to drink because they are in recovery.  These students have already identified themselves as alcoholics and sought the appropriate treatment.  They abstain in order not to relapse and fall back in to old, destructive patterns/behavior.


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