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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

The Flourish, April 2022: In the Spotlight

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“SUPER cups” —what are those?

In popular media, drinking games are portrayed as a fun, harmless, and essential part of the American college experience. As we know, popular media struggles to accurately depict reality, and sometimes misses the real risks of gamifying substance use. While they may look fun, drinking games are easy routes to over-drinking and experiencing unintended consequences of consuming alcohol.

The competitive nature of drinking games can distract us from keeping track of how much we’re consuming, and the fast-paced nature of them encourages drinking a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time — not measuring, no pacing -- two risk-reduction strategies missed already! To gamify an activity is to increase the engaging elements present so that participation is mindlessly, insidiously increased with little respect for moderation, or the consequences of this “deep engagement” can bring (think playing video games until your eyes are bloodshot and your sleep is messed up).


Drinking games often valorize players who can “hold their liquor,” while not-so-subtly pressuring others to push their limits beyond what they had planned for their safe night. Too quickly, drinking games can slip from a social imbibing past time to blacking/browning out and other symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Competing in large groups also makes it harder for friends to look out for each other, helping each other stick to their safe drinking plans. 

It’s important to measure your drinks and know your limits, which is why a Stanford SUPER cup may be a valuable resource. SUPER cups have horizontal lines to accurately measure 1.5 oz of hard liquor, 5 oz of wine, and 12 oz of beer, which are the standard units in the US for alcoholic drinks.  A vertical line with an infinity symbol beside it is displayed for EANABS (or equally attractive, non-alcoholic beverages), which of course can be consumed limitlessly without increasing your intoxication. In addition, the cups are dishwasher safe, reusable, and recyclable, making them better for the environment than the traditional red solo cup. You can request SUPER cups for you and your community here: