The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Staying Safe Over Halloween

Salt Lake City police escort marchers during a rally and march commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day along 1300 East in Salt Lake City, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.

This Halloween, the U’s student body will fill the surrounding neighborhoods to celebrate with their friends. With all of the ongoing festivities, and those that involve drinking in particular, it is important to keep safety in mind.

Most students have at least been around someone who has had a bit too much to drink and it is important to understand when medical intervention is needed.

If a person is unconscious, in a state of confusion, has low body temperature, irregular or slow breathing, is vomiting, or has blue-tinted skin, medical attention is necessary. Even just one of these can be an indicator of alcohol poisoning and may require medical help. So students should not hesitate to call medical services in the event that a friend is experiencing these symptoms.

If a student is unsure whether someone needs medical assistance related to alcohol consumption they can call the Peterson Heritage Center at 801-587-2000, Campus Security at 801-585-2677, or Poison Control at 800-222-1222. They are there to help assess the needs of the situation. If is it more severe, 911 is always there for immediate help.

Drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time can worsen the effects, so it is important to pace oneself if they do choose to drink and watch how the alcohol will impact them before consuming too much.

“We are all about keeping our students happy, healthy and safe and want them to have a good time as well. If any students have questions about drinking, alcohol poisoning, or any other health-related topic, we’re happy to chat with them in our office in the ESLC [Eccles Student Life Center]!” expressed Jenna Templeton, a Health Educator in the Center for Student Wellness.

As for what students are drinking, it is never a bad idea to make one’s own drink so that they know exactly how much alcohol is in it and what exactly is in it.

Four students at North Carolina State University have a product in testing phases, called “Undercover Colors” that is nail polish that can detect the most common colorless and odorless date-rape drugs. So at a party, someone could simply slip their finger in their drink and if there are drugs present their nail polish will change colors.

With sexual assault being a big issue nationally and among schools in the state, there is no better time to be vigilant about our own personal safety- especially when partying. Students should go out with a group and look out for one another.

Students can try putting the number of campus police in their phones and adding the numbers of everyone in their group before they go out- to ensure they can find each other if they do get separated.

Even if people appear trustworthy, students should use caution when going off alone with new people- even if it is a sober ride home.

Twenty-four percent of all traffic-related deaths in Utah involved alcohol in 2014. Many people are impacted by drunk driving, which is why it is critical that no one drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes getting in the car with someone who has been drinking. Don’t hesitate to use Uber or Lyft and take advantage of the first free ride.

Let’s all look out for each other this Halloween and have a good time.

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