Kat Chat educates on Fake Patty’s Day safety

Michael Dreiling, K-State Counseling Services program assistant, discusses ways for students and community members to stay safe on Fake Patty's Day during the Kat Chat in Leasure Hall on March 1, 2016. (Kaitlyn Heier | The Collegian)

Before Fake Patty’s Day hits Manhattan this Saturday, K-State’s Kat Chat discussion series held a chat Tuesday evening to provide information, tips and tricks on how students can have safe Fake Patty’s Day experiences.

“You need to decide what kind of drinker you are going to be that day and educate yourself accordingly,” Michael Dreiling, leader of the Kat Chat and K-State Counseling Services program assistant, said.

Dreiling said a red Solo Cup allows users to make knowledgeable decisions because it provides the suggested serving size for each variation of alcohol. Dreiling said the first line from the bottom of the cup represents a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor, the second line represents a 4.5-ounce glass of wine and approximately halfway between the second and third line is for malt liquor, while the line second from the top is for a 12-ounce beer.

“Beware, though, a full glass of jungle juice, which is a mixture of different alcohols, can be equal to 5-7 drinks, depending on the content,” Dreiling said.

Another way to avoid unsafe drinking is utilizing phone applications that allow a relatively accurate measure of blood alcohol content, Dreiling said. The Apple iPhone offers the application IntelliDrink PRO, and Android has a similar model, AlcoDroid. These applications are not fully accurate but can give you an idea of your intoxication, Dreiling said.

Dreiling also said a public misconception is that eating lowers your blood alcohol content; the only way to deplete the body of alcohol is time, which is something to keep in mind the morning after Fake Patty’s Day. Dreiling said many DUIs are given the morning after a night out because alcohol is still present in the body.

During the Kat Chat, Dreiling said designated drivers, Uber, K-State’s SafeRide program and Wildcat Walk can be alternatives to getting behind the wheel.

Brooke Tilley, freshman in open option, said this year will be her first year out and about in Aggieville on Fake Patty’s Day.

“My main concern about Fake Patty’s Day is everyone around me,” Tilley said. “I heard that Aggieville is crowded with a ton of drunken people all day. I am concerned for my safety and my friends’ safety.”

Halei Matthews, freshman in dietetics, said this year will be her first Fake Patty’s Day experience, and she has safety concerns as well.

“My concern about Fake Patty’s is my friends because I know they like to drink,” Matthews said. “I am usually a designated driver, so I am scared that stuff will happen to them.”

The most significant safety hazard that accompanies drinking is alcohol poisoning, and it is critical to be aware of the signs and the amount of alcohol a person has consumed, Dreiling said.

“Common side effects of alcohol poisoning are mental confusion, stupor, coma, seizures, hypothermia, bluish skin tone, vomiting, slow breathing and irregular breathing,” Dreiling said. “You must call 911. You will not be prosecuted.”

According to Dreiling, the best way to be prepared is to eat a good meal filled with proteins and fats, drink plenty of water and have a plan for the day.

“Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint,” Dreiling said.