ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Keep your mask up, but don’t let your guard down

Halloween – what a great time of year.  It’s a great way to transition into the dreary winter season.  It’s also a fun way to try on different personas and even hide behind a mask.  Oh, and then there are the parties.  It’s easier to let our guard down when we’re in disguise.  Just keep in mind, though, that lowered inhibitions can lead to increased drinking.   Binge drinking is considered consuming four or more beers in one sitting with the intention of getting drunk.  It may be just a one time thing – or an occasional event.  Either way, we still have the same consequences.  We’re pretty sure local law enforcement doesn’t give partiers a pass for looking cute in a cat costume,  at least not around here.   Underage drinking on campus can be grounds for being kicked out of the dorms.  For those in high school, getting caught drinking can directly affect college admission chances and your standing in high school, too.

Lively parties tend to get out of control pretty quickly.  It’s always best to pre-plan. Ask yourself: •    Can I bring my own juice or beverage if I alcohol isn’t my thing? •    What’s my limit if I do choose to drink? •    What if I don’t follow my own limit that I set for myself? •    How will I turn down a drink when offered? •    Which friends have my back? •    Who is the designated driver? •    What’s my exit strategy if things get out of control? •    What is my back up plan in case our designated driver drinks?

Sometimes it’s a matter of just realizing that “not everyone is looking at me and watching to see if I drink alcohol and how much I drink. As if they really care - they’re caught up in their own drama.”

So, as long as custody of the drink is never lost, why not just put a soda in a red cup.  Who has to know?  And remember, “no” is a complete sentence.