If you forget everything else about alcohol, remember to use OOTAH! That’s not a state in the Rocky Mountains, and it’s not a saying in the U.P. of Michigan. OOTAH stands for:
One Or Two An Hour
For most people this simple formula will help you avoid the numerous negative effects of alcohol. The law in Wisconsin is that you must be 21 in order to consume alcohol. However, although this may be a shock to most people, some college students actually drink alcohol before they are the legal age. The residence hall staff and Campus Safety must enforce laws, so in no way does the college condone illegal activity.
However, on the counseling side of the college, we are confidential when it comes to these issues. This means that students can seek counseling for alcohol or drug issues and no one at the college would know anything about it.
Our students seem typical of most college and university students in that about 20-25% of our students don’t drink at all, about 50-60% drink moderately, and about 20-25% of our students drink heavily (defined as typical blood alcohol concentrations while drinking at .15% or above).
There is no easy answer to what the right amount of alcohol is for you. All we know is that most of our students seem to drink fairly responsibly if they do consume regardless of age. However, there is a small percentage who go overboard in their frequency, intensity or duration of alcohol use, and we worry about their health and overall college experience.
Our office practices harm reduction and motivational interviewing instead of abstinence counseling since there is very little research supporting that abstinence counseling is the most effective way to handle this problem. We have nothing to do with the enforcement of rules on campus, but rest assured, illegal drinking and drugging will result in disciplinary action through the college. So please make wise decisions and use your judgment.