If you choose to drink, there are certain protective factors that you can utilize to reduce your risks while drinking. There are also factors that can increase your risk while drinking. 

Pre-gaming or pre-drinking is a common risk activity that involves drinking before actually attending an event or function where there will most likely be drinking. The purpose of pre-gaming is usually to get a "buzz" or "get drunk" before going out. Often college students will cite pre-gaming so that they can save money. Pregaming, however, is dangerous and increases your risk for alcohol overdose and alcohol poisoning.

Studies show that those who pre-game are more likely to drink more at the social event than those who do not. Also, those who pre-game are more likely to suffer risky or unfavorable consequences of drinking, such as blackouts, hangovers, unplanned substance abuse or unprotected sex.



Pre-gaming doesn't reduce how much alcohol you drink.

Some studies have reported that up to 75% of U.S. college students engage in pre-gaming. The studies also found that, on average, young men tend to have three to five drinks, while women have two to four drinks during a pre-drinking session. So the goal of saving money by pre-drinking doesn't usually work and those who pre-game often end up spending even more money on alcohol than they initially intended, when taking into account money spent both at the bar and at home.

Drink moderately — anywhere, anytime.

When you are drinking, consider these tips to have a fun and safe night...

  • Be more mindful of pacing drinks

  • Eat before drinking

  • Alternate with non-alcoholic beverages like water

  • Avoiding pre-gaming/pre-drinking

  • Avoiding drinking games

  • Avoid mixing with energy drinks or caffeinated beverages

  • Never mix alcohol with your medications

If you are having any difficulties or concerns, consider contacting the professionals at Student Counseling Services. For immediate help or safety concerns, call the UChicago Police at 773.702.8181. Click here to find more important phone numbers.