Speaker asks students to think before drinking

Jessica Parmelee

At the age of 21, Randy Haveson suffered a heart attack because of a cocaine drug overdose. He became involved with alcohol and drugs at an early age.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” said Haveson, professional speaker and consultant. “My life is a gift.”

Haveson presented “Party with a Plan” to Kent State students in the Carol A. Cartwright Hall last night. The event was co-sponsored by Delta Zeta and Student Health Promotions and Health Services.

“You are a product of the choices you make,” Haveson said. “So the task is to get students to think about the decision before they make the decision.”

Haveson has been speaking to college audiences about alcohol awareness for nine years.

“I want to help students not to make the same mistakes I did,” Haveson said. “Wisdom is learning from mistakes.”

Haveson wants college students to make better choices with alcohol.

“There are rules for driving and sports, but no rules for drinking,” Haveson said. “Just saying no means nothing. Twenty-three percent of students don’t drink.”

The event was open to anyone, but Haveson focused on freshmen, athletes and Greeks.

“Being in a sorority, alcohol awareness is an important topic,” said Tiffany Peters, a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

She said alcohol can be a factor in traditional Greek life, and it’s something students need to learn to be responsible with it.

Haveson engaged the audience by telling them his life experiences.

“The number one reason I’m up here tonight is because I love to drink: the taste, the burn all the way down,” he said. “Why would I want to say ‘no’ to anything that lets me go out on to the dance floor?”

In college, Haveson said he did not join one particular fraternity because he was then able to party with all of them. He was expelled twice from San Diego University for bad grades because of too much partying.

“Oh my God, what happened? How did I get here?” Haveson asked himself at the age of 24 while contemplating suicide after being expelled and losing his job.

Haveson picked up a phone and called a hotline, where he talked to the woman that saved his life. He went back to school and earned a master’s degree.

The audience applauded as Haveson said he has been sober for 22 years.

“I want to teach you how to drink like no one ever taught me,” Haveson told the audience.

Know the 0-1-2-3 Code, Haveson said. The code is a list of ways to teach students how to drink responsibly.

Sometimes zero drinks is the best option, Haveson said. No more than one drink per hour. Limit drinking to no more than two times per week, and no more than three drinks in one day, he said.

“This is the difference between people who drink, and people who drink to get drunk,” Haveson said.

For more information about “Partying with a Plan,” go to http://www.partywithaplan.org.

Contact Greek life reporter Jessica Parmelee at [email protected].