Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Sip Tip: Be a life saver


The weekend is here and stress can take a backseat to the fun in store.  If any of your plans include drinking be sure to use some safer drinking strategies.  This includes things like eating before/while drinking, staying well hydrated, alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, pacing oneself, and monitoring how many drinks are consumed.

Of course, these are things the drinker does for him/herself.  What if you come across someone who isn't employing these safer drinking strategies?  Is there anything you can do?  Perhaps if it's still early in the evening, you can offer them some water or a non-alcoholic drink.  Maybe they'd be up for ordering some food to help slow down their drinking and fill up their stomachs.  Or maybe they have already had too much and you are starting to get worried for their safety.  Then what do you?

How to Help an Intoxicated Friend
  • Continue to monitor your friend.
  • Check their breathing, waking them often to be sure they are not unconscious.
  • Do not exercise the person.
  • Do not allow the person to drive a car or ride a bicycle.
  • Do not give the person food, liquid, medicines or drugs to sober them up.
  • A drunk person should not be put in charge of another drunk person.
  • Do not give the person a cold shower or coffee to get them to sober up-- it won't work and could lead to worse effects.
  • REMEMBER: The only way to sober up is TIME.

Be aware of the signs of alcohol poisoning.  Learn what you can do and who you can call.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Unconscious or semi-consciousness and cannot be awakened.
  • There is no response to pinching the skin or other physical stimuli (gentle shaking, etc.)
  • The person vomits while passed out and does not wake up during or after.
  • The person has seizures.
  • Slow respiration (breaths) of eight or less per minute or lapses between breaths of more than eight seconds.
  • Irregular breathing.
  • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin -especially around the lips and nose. 
*While these are obvious signs of alcohol poisoning, the list is certainly not all inclusive.

How You Can Help

  • Call HERU, Hopkins Emergency Response Unit at 410-516-7777 or 911 from any campus phone immediately.
  • While waiting for 911 emergency transport, gently turn the intoxicated person on his/her side and maintain that position by placing a pillow in the small of the person’s back. This is important to prevent aspiration (choking) in case of vomiting.

  • Stay with the person until medical help arrives.
  • If a person appears to be “sleeping it off” it is important to realize that even though a person may be semi-conscious, alcohol already in the stomach may continue to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. The person’s life may still be in danger.
  • Do not wait for all of the signs to appear and do not try to guess the level of drunkenness.
Alcohol Poisoning Information taken from http://ucc.nd.edu/self-help/alcohol-addiction/alcohol-poisoning/


Condoms + Thrift Shop = Macklemore loves Hump Day, too!


Want to get tested?  You can get free HIV testing at the SHWC or some local clinics nearby, like Planned Parenthood.  Get tested - get a clear conscience.  And if you are thinking of engaging in sexual activity, consider picking up some free condoms at the SHWC or CHEW office.  Or stop by Nolan's tonight from 5-7pm for some freebies and learn about our Condom Sense program which offers name brand condoms for $4 a pack!


SEE Cooks Well to Eat Well


SEE Tip:  When it comes to cooking do you feel lost, overwhelmed, unsure, or just ready to give up and head for whatever CharMar has to offer?  Don't lose hope- head to Wolman Kitchen for a cooking demonstration tonight at 5pm**.  First come, first taught and served by Alkimia and Azafran chef and owner, Irena Stein.

For more check out the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/140559446121458/

Learn to eat well and cook well!
**This event has been postponed.

HKB Tip: Hopkins Kicks Butts is celebrating National Kick Butts Week!  Stop by the table on the Breezeway and in Nolan's to talk to an HKB member about the Smoke-free campus referendum, quitting strategies, environmental effects of smoking, and more!

National Kick Butts Day, March 20, 2013

Mellow Out Monday Tip: Feeling stressed about returning to campus?  Don't let the pressure get to you by relieving it before it even begins.  Stop by Mellow Out Monday on Q Level tonight from 8-10pm for a free back rub from Stressbusters!


PEEPs thoughts on exercising during the Break


Spring break is here!  Whether you are taking a trip or relaxing at home, you’re excited about getting some time away from school. While you may have been hitting the gym hard in the recent weeks preparing for spring break, it is still just as important to maintain your exercise habits over break! You will feel better, maintain your health, and won't have to deal with the reality when you get back of finding your normal workout extra tiring.  Here are some ways to stay active while still relaxing:

  • Workout with friends from home! Instead of catching up while watching TV or eating out, go for a walk together, throw the football around or go as a guest on someone’s gym pass.

  • Get outside! Plan events with your friends where you guys are outside. Plan a soccer game, an ultimate frisbee get-together or any other fun activity where you enjoy the weather.
  • Show people what you have learned at the gym this semester! Show your mom that cool new plank variation you learned or your friend how squats are actually done. They will get excited and might have something for you too!

  • Workout at home! It can be hard going home with no gym membership. However, you have the outdoors in addition to your home. Have stairs? Run up and down them. A nice park nearby? Go for a walk outside. Floor space? Do a circuit-training workout with squats, burpees and other fun exercises.
Try to incorporate more activity into your break and you will come back feeling even more refreshed. Have a safe and activity-filled break!


St. Patty's to Spring Break- Keep it Safe


Time for Fun.

Time for Sun.

Time for Relaxation.

Time for you!

Isn't it about time??

Enjoy Spring break - you've earned it.  Just keep a few things in mind.

If you choose to drink, try to stay in the Blue Zone by doing things like alternating every other alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic beverage.

Just because it's a break doesn't mean the couch is your new BFF.  Go for a walk, check out an exercise class with a real life friend, or participate in a charity run/walk with family or your friends at the destination of your choice.

If you are traveling (though this also applies if you are at home with a group), stay with your same group of friends and check in with each other.  Stay safe together, have fun together.

Save your skin.  Apply sunblock.  Even if it's cloudy- you may be outside more this week than you normally are during school.  Let your skin enjoy it without having any regrets and slather some SPF on.

If you want to participate in St. Patrick's Day festivities, just take it easy throughout the day and if you choose to drink, remember to hydrate and enjoy some tasty Irish meals, too!

Most importantly, have a great week off from classes and relax!!


PEEP Advice on Spring Break


Spring break is almost here! Between juggling classes, midterms, jobs, and extra-curriculars, it’s easy to anticipate some down time. This is a time to rejuvenate and have fun but whether you’re travelling or relaxing at home, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1.       Don’t overdo the drinking – According to a University of Wisconsin study, 75% of college males and 43% of college females report being intoxicated on a daily basis! If you choose to drink, make sure you drink plenty of water, have some food in your stomach, and are with a group of people you trust. If you need any help determining your limit, check out the Blood Alcohol Content cards on the CHEW website (http://www.jhu.edu/health/JHUBACCards.pdf ) and stay in the blue zone for a good time minus the hangover!

2.       Don’t ditch the sunscreen – Just because you want to tan doesn’t mean you should burn. Remember to pack some sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply it often to avoid spending part of your spring break lobster-red and in pain.

3.       Set aside time for you – Between hanging out with old friends, meeting new ones, and finding different activities to do, it can feel like kind of a whirlwind. This break is about unwinding from all the work you’ve done so try to set aside some time for yourself. Exercise, stay in and watch a movie, browse Pinterest all day – whatever you want to do, do it!

4.       Always travel in groups – When going out, make sure you show up and leave with the same group of people you came with. Have a good time but always keep an eye out for each other to make sure everybody is enjoying themselves safely.

5.       Bring protection – If you choose to engage in sexual activity over break, make sure you still use the same kind of protection you’re accustomed to using. If you feel like you’re not sober enough to make a decision to have sex or not, stay with a friend and consider going somewhere else. Remember – an intoxicated ‘yes’ does NOT count as consent. If you feel like you need any last minute protection, stop by Student Health and Wellness or the CHEW Office to pick some up for free!

The best Spring break is always a safe one so be sure to plan ahead for the activities you do to make sure you have the best Spring break possible! J


Hump Day Investigation: Sex and Athletic Performance

The 2012 Summer Olympics were pretty awesome, right?  Gold medals, records, and apparently if you were an athlete- copious amounts of intercourse.  According to the athletes, Olympic Village has become a "sex fest" (quite different than our JHU Sex Fest in February) that not even 70,000 condoms were enough to cover.

So with the abundance of sexual activity, we're reminded of the question "does sexual activity impede athletic performance?"

Based on the Olympics, we'd say no.  But let's dig deeper, shall we?

According to a literature review published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, this myth has been proven false.  Through small studies of consensual sexual activity and athletic performance, participants were observed to show no significant difference in their athletic abilities.  The studies found that sexual activity neither hindered or heightened one's performance.

Sexual activity and athletic performance aren't linked based on the studies; however, if a person is stressed out about their upcoming athletic event and cannot sleep, it may be beneficial to engage in a stress releasing activity, like sexual activity to help them calm down and possibly promote a better night's sleep. On the other hand, if a person is really tired and not interested in sexual activity, it would be better for the person to fall asleep than force him/herself to engage in sexual activity.  Of course, there are other ways to reduce stress and promote a better night's sleep.  So if sexual activity isn't an option, there are things like working out, reading a funny book, listening to mood enhancing music, and so much more.

If you choose to engage in sexual activity, be sure to use protection.  There are many ways to protect you and your partner, including male condoms, female condoms, dental dams, and hormonal methods, too.  Decide what's right for you and go from there.

Want some free condoms-- stop by the Student Health and Wellness Center or the CHEW office, both in Homewood Building to fill your pockets.  Or want some specific brands, like Trojan or Durex?  Try ordering through our discount program, Condom Sense.   Whatever you choose, just be sure to use your head.

Source: http://journals.lww.com/cjsportsmed/fulltext/2000/10000/does_sex_the_night_before_competition_decrease.1.aspx


SEE: A Nap A day...


SEE Tip:  Today is National Napping Day!  Do you take naps regularly?  Some people associate a stigma with napping, but naps have been proven to be healthy and beneficial.  In fact, large companies have been taking note of the importance of napping in the last few years.  Companies like Google and Nike have added napping areas to their list of employee benefits to help aid employee wellness and productivity.  

A short nap, around 20-30 minutes, can improve alertness and performance.  Naps should occur earlier in the day and not too close to your bed time to avoid any sleep issues.  Certainly, naps aren't for everybody.  Pay attention to your body and if you feel like you need a little dose of ZZZ's-- you know the signals, your eyes are drooping, your brain feels foggy, and you can't focus on the task at hand -- try to find a place that is comfortable and safe to doze.  (Wouldn't it be awesome if we had "quiet rooms" or "napping pods", too?)

Want to know more about napping, stop by Levering today from 12-1 to talk to the PEEPs about the benefits and how to add one to your day!

HKB Quit Tip: Want a reason to quit?  How about better sleep?  A recent study published in the Journal for Sleep Medicine found that smokers, as compared to non-smokers, showed a number of insomnia-like sleep impairments while being studied.  This included things like higher REM sleep density, sleep apnea, shorter sleeping periods, and leg movements while sleeping. Thinking about the pros and cons of quitting- you can add "better sleep" to the Pros list.

Mellow Out Monday Tip: Sleepiness can lead to stress, especially when it's crunch time.  If you're tired and stressed, chances are your study skills or work abilities aren't going to be up to your usual standards.  Do yourself a favor, take a break, and take a nap.  Not only will you wake up refreshed, but studies have shown that stress levels go down after napping.  Don't let stress knock you out.  

Can't quite take a nap, but feeling too stressed to focus?  Stop by the MSE on Q-level for a back rub from one of our awesome Stressbusters anytime from 8pm-10pm tonight.  They are free and stress-free!


An App to Drink By


A new app is on the market for the drinking alcohol.  For those who drink, this app could serve as a way to help keep track of how much they are really consuming.  It's not a BAC app or a tracking app, but an app that specializes for people drinking out of "non-traditional" alcohol containers-- things like soda bottles, sports drinks, and solo cups.

The creators witnessed friends mixing liquor and plastic bottles and heard concerns over not knowing how much alcohol, or more specifically, how many shots were in their bottles.  Upon thinking more about this concern, they decided to help their friends and many others become more informed about what they were consuming by creating the Shots iGot App.

To see how the app works, take a look at this video:

If you drink, do you think you would use this app?  Would you get either the free version or the $1.99 full version?

Here's what we like about the app:
  • By determining how many shots are in a container, the consumer can be more informed and hopefully more aware about how much s/he drinks throughout the night.
  • There are a bunch of containers, including the solo cup.
  • This helps people be smart about drinking!
Here's what people still need to keep in mind:
  • The App won't keep track of how many shots were had in total.  Keep track of your drinks and be mindful of what your body needs (water is usually high on that list).
  • A meal before/during drinking can help reduce the aftermath effects of drinking.
  • Alternating water (or alcohol-less mixers) with alcoholic beverages can also reduce the chances of a negative experience.
  • Of course, not drinking alcohol at all can also greatly reduce those chances at all.
  • If you choose to drink, remember to stay in the blue zone by stopping at buzzed. 


Love Brain

Ever been in love?  If you have, perhaps you've experienced "Love Brain".  This thing that happens to us when we fall in love and life seems to be better.  The birds chirp louder, the cars whizzing by don't bother us, and the blue sky seems just a bit brighter... as if love makes us eternal optimists, only seeing the good.

Now, realizing that this may sound like crazy talk, especially to the non-believers, here's some science of love to help break it down.


SEE little changes, big differences


SEE tip: Research has shown that a total of 30 minutes of some sort of exercise in a day can improve health, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Whether a person spaces it out over 3-10 minute breaks in a day or even 10-3 minute breaks. It is all still beneficial and counts as getting it in!

Have 2 minutes to get in a set of push ups and high knees? Go for it! Use small bits of time in the day to benefit you and your body.

Want a work out you can do in just a minute or a few you can spread out over your day? Stop by Nolan's tonight from 5:30-7pm for info, tips, and enter our workout raffle for your own workout mat.

Quit Tip: A study of over 400,000 people in Taiwan found that smokers who were able to incorporate exercise into just 15 minutes of their day were more likely to quit than those that didn't exercise.

Help a friend who's trying to quit by inviting them to do a quick workout with you.

Mellow out Monday: A study of employees in Australia found that just 15 minutes of yoga reduced stress levels by nearly 17%. Yoga may not be your thing so instead try what interests you- running, dancing, swimming, jumping rope. Just get a quick workout to lower stress and feel more empowered for the day ahead of you.

Want to soothe the sore muscles from your workouts? Or just need another quick stress relief? Stop by Q level in the MSE tonight starting at 8pm for a free back rub from Stressbusters.


Sip Tip: The Drunk Diet

A recent study will be published in April's edition of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research that looked at sodas in alcoholic beverages.  Researchers wanted to know if people who chose less sugary, or sugar substitute sodas had any effect on drinking and "drunkness" than regular soda drinkers.

As it turned out, it sort of did.  Diet soda drinkers had higher levels of BrAC, or breath alcohol content, than those who drank regular soda.  (BrAC measures alcohol with a breathalyzer and is different than BAC, Blood Alcohol Content).  According to the BrAC measures, people seemed to have a higher BrAC reading when they were drinking diet drinks versus non-diet drinks.  However, the people in the study did not report feeling any differently or acting any differently.  So what does that mean?

Whatever someone chooses to drink, whether it's beer, liquor and soda, liquor and diet soda, or whatever-- what really counts is how much someone is drinking in how long a period of time.  Meaning, if someone is drinking 4 diet mixed drinks in an hour or 4 regular mixed drinks in an hour, that person is likely going to feel the effects of the alcohol either way (for better or worse).