Women & Alcohol: What College-Aged Women Need to Know

adolescents and substance abuse - Girl drinking alcohol

Contributor: Marissa A. Angileri, MSW, CADC, Addiction Specialist, Timberline Knolls Residential Center

Going off to college can provide a sense of starting a new chapter in life, a feeling of freedom from parents, a chance to explore the real world, and beginning to make decisions for oneself.

After the stress of choosing the right college, enrolling in classes and picking out the perfect dormitory decorations, then comes the discomfort of meeting new people.

Socially Involved

College offers the ability to become more social, such as joining a sorority, club, or team. Social events are usually centered around alcohol and partying, or blowing off steam with the aid of alcohol.

These activities can lead to binge drinking, drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Binge drinking may occur on the weekends and lead to other nights of the week.

Measurements Matter

The bullet points below depict the correct ounces per beverage:

  • 12 fluid ounces of regular beer is about 5% alcohol
  • 8-9 fluid ounces of malt liquor is about 7% alcohol
  • 5 fluid ounces of wine is about 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 fluid ounces shot of 80-proof distilled spirits is 40% alcohol
    Citation: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Legal Limit

All 50 states have a .080 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). The chart below shows the blood alcohol level after one hour of drinking, depending on the person’s body weight.

# of drinks100 LBS120 LBS140 LBS160 LBS180 LBS200 LBS220 LBS240 LBS
1.029.021.016.012.009.006.004.002
2.074.058.048.040.034.028.024.020
3.119.095.080.068.059.050.044.038
4.164.132.112.096.084.072.064.056
5.209.169.144.124.109.094.084.074

Citation: William R. Miller and Richard F. Munoz, University of New Mexico 1982 pp. 8-11

Lesson Learned

Unfortunately, there can be consequences that follow the events of consuming alcohol, such as, missing classes, performance on tests and papers and even more serious, risky sexual behavior. It is essential when consuming alcohol to be conscious of who is handling your drink.

Woman drinking alcohol

Rohypnol also known as “roofie” is a small white pill that has no taste or odor when slipped into a drink, often presented at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties.

The effects can lead to blackout with memory loss, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, and difficulty of movement and speaking.
Citation: drugfree.org

Key to Success

Ultimately the decision is yours, when presented with the opportunity to consume alcohol, just remember – safety first! Be sure there is a responsible designated sober driver. Never leave your drink unattended, to prevent other substances from being slipped into your glass.

Know your limit, when enough is enough, to avoid facing sequences. It is okay to say “no” to peers who might pressure you into drinking alcohol when you do not wish to engage.

Don’t forget, college is the pathway to your future career and is bound to be an amazing experience to remember!


Marissa AngileriAbout the Author: Marissa Angileri, MSW, CADC, is an Addictions Specialist at Timberline Knolls. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Communications and a Master’s in Social Work degree with a specialization in Addictions Counseling at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on February 1, 2018

Published on AddictionHope.com

About Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC

Jacquelyn Ekern founded Addiction Hope in January, 2013, after experiencing years of inquiries for addiction help by visitors to our well regarded sister site, Eating Disorder Hope. Many of the eating disorder sufferers that contact Eating Disorder Hope also had a co-occurring issue of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and process addictions.