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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

Halloween: costumes, candy and parties. It’s no secret young adults use Halloween as a perfect excuse to enjoy some partying. If you’re “too old” for trick-or-treating (as if there’s an age limit for free candy), it makes sense to enjoy new adult privileges, mainly alcohol.

Alcohol can be fun, but can cause serious health and safety risks. Alcohol poisoning causes vomiting, seizures, clammy skin, confusion, exhaustion and slow breathing. At it’s worst it can lead to brain damage or even death.

It is important to avoid alcohol misuse, so I talked to Dr. Pamela Taylor, Ph.D., APRN, FNP-BC, about tips for staying safe while having fun this Halloween.

Dr. Taylor has publications in The Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education and ProQuest for her PhD dissertation: “Exploring the Effectiveness of a Computer-delivered Alcohol Intervention in First-Generation College Students.” She also happens to be my mom (disclaimer and subtle brag).

The NIAAA describes binge drinking as 5 or more drinks in males and 4 or more drinks in females, with a standard drink being a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Most of the time alcohol at parties is not measured, so it is important to count your drinks, pay attention to your own limits, and stay safe.

Drink spiking is dangerous, and unfortunately not uncommon on college campuses. Dr. Taylor has three guidelines to avoid drink spiking.

1. Never Leave A Drink Unattended

2. Never accept an open drink from anyone

3. Use the buddy system

Some tips are to keep your drink covered with a cup condom or nightcap cover that doubles as a hair tie. Go out with a group of trusted friends and don’t wander off alone — it’s more fun to be with your friends anyway!

“We all need to look out for each other; If you see something, say something.”

Dr. Pamela Taylor, Ph.D., APRN, FNP-BC

When in doubt, trust your gut. Keep an eye out for you and your friends, and don’t hesitate to get medical attention if needed.

Most schools offer medical amnesty policies, so if you get help for someone with alcohol poisoning, you will be exempt from underage alcohol or drug charges. Check your school’s policy if you want to know more.

There plenty are of ways to have fun while staying safe and healthy. Be smart, take care of yourself, and of course, have fun.


Jessica (or Jessie) and is a contributor for Bradley U's Chapter of Her Campus and an Advertising and Public Relations major at Bradley University. She loves writing a good listicle. Jessie is on the Bradley Her Campus social media team, the Bradley Speech team, and is involved in various other extracurriculars. When not running around loving her busy schedule: she enjoys reading a good fiction book, biking, sudoku, creating fake websites and flyers, and doing various little craft projects. Jessie is passionate about the power of communication and loves to write - hopefully you like to read! :)