St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this week and if you choose to drink, make sure you take some steps to stay safe. Make sure you tell someone about your plans, carry your ID, Health Card and emergency contact info just in case you visit the hospital.
Keep the following tips in mind if you decide to make alcohol a part of your St. Patrick’s Day plans:
- Tell someone who isn’t going with you what your plans are
- Carry your ID, health card, and emergency contact information with you just in case you need to visit the hospital
- Don't let your friends pressure you into drinking more than you want
- Drugs and alcohol don't mix and can cause unexpected side effects
- Make sure you eat before and while you drink
- Don't leave your drink unattended and don't accept drinks from people you don't know
- Consider making a pact with the people you are going out with to stay together
- Don't drive after drinking, find a DD in advance or call a taxi or Uber
If you aren’t drinking but still going out with friends, watch for signs of severe intoxication:
- Being uncoordinated (ex. inability to walk straight or bumping into things)
- Becoming much louder
- Sudden mood changes
- Speech becomes slower or slurred
- Phasing in and out of consciousness
- Inability to focus
If you are worried that someone may be in danger, get medical attention immediately. The person may have combined alcohol with drugs, or you may be unaware of a medical condition they may have.
Factors affecting reaction to alcohol
There are many factors affecting your reaction to alcohol and everyone’s reaction is different depending on those factors:
- Alcohol content
It isn't the number of drinks you have; it is how much alcohol you consume that determines your blood alcohol content. Every bottle has different alcohol percentages which will vary your consumption.
- Body weight and type
In most circumstances, alcohol will affect you more if you weigh less and have low body fat.
- Drinking time
You should give your body time to metabolize your alcohol consumptions. The longer it takes to consume a drink, the less it will affect you because more time passes between drinks.
The more you eat before drinking alcohol, the less you will be affected. Make sure you also eat while you drink which help decrease the effects.
Many medications carry a warning against drinking any alcohol while using the medication. Medications may also intensify the effects of alcohol. Make sure to always follow the advice given by your health care professional or pharmacist.
Stay safe out there warriors!