Summer Safety Tip: Drinking Responsibly

As the warm weather approaches you might find yourself attending more BBQ’s, pool parties and other outdoor events, where alcohol may be present. If you are going to consume, here are some tips to remember to drink responsibly! 

10 responsible drinking tips cartoon visual

10 responsible drinking tips

  1. Plan your ride home

Drinking or not, it is important to plan how you will be getting home. There are many options available to ensure the safety of yourself and others:  

  • Public transport (bus, subway, etc.)
  • Taxi/Uber/Lyft
  • Arrange for a dependable designated driver

If you’re unable to access a safe method of transportation, it is always a good idea to ask a friend if you are able to stay at their place that night. I mean who doesn’t love a sleepover?

Follow these tips and plan ahead!  

  1. Stick with your friends

Knowing you’re going out with people you can depend on makes it all the more fun! Plus, how will you get the perfect Instagram photo if you don’t stick with your friends? By staying with the people you came with, you can watch out for one another.  

  1. Eat before you drink

There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to how fast alcohol is absorbed by the body. One sure way to slow down the processing of alcohol is by eating before consuming alcohol. This is because your body will metabolize the alcohol more slowly when food is in your stomach so less alcohol enters the bloodstream.

  1. Avoid leaving your drink unattended

There are certain things you just can’t trust strangers with no matter how nice they may seem, one of them is your drink. The only way to be sure that no one has tampered with your drink is by holding on to it at all times.

  1. Take it slow

Spreading your drinks out over time will limit how much you are impaired by alcohol. If you drink faster than you absorb the alcohol, your blood alcohol content will increase quickly. As a result it will take a longer time for the alcohol to be eliminated from your body.

  1. Drink water

Drinking water between alcoholic beverages is a great strategy because alcohol is a diuretic. This means that alcoholic beverages will dehydrate you as your body is using the water from your bloodstream to breakdown alcohol and remove it through urine. Even a non-alcoholic beverage will do the trick!

  1. Count your drink intake

Your main priority when enjoying a night out with friends isn’t usually to count your drinks, but there are many tricks that you can use to do so. One trick is collecting the cap from your drinks so that you can refer back to a physical count.  Another trick is an app such as DrinkControl or AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker which allows you to track the number of drinks as well as the total calories within them.

It is important to keep track of your alcoholic beverages and set a maximum so that you can stick to your limit!

  1. Avoid drinking games

Drinking responsibly involves taking it slow, previously mentioned in Responsible Drinking Tip #5. Taking part of drinking games causes you to lose track of your alcohol intake. If you do choose to participate in these games (due to your competitive nature!) fill your cup with water or juice instead!

  1. Don’t mix alcohol with medication or caffeine

Always check the label of prescription drugs, allergy or cold pills before consuming alcohol or check in with a doctor or pharmacist ahead of time. Many medications have interactions with all types of alcohol.

Similarly, mixing caffeine and alcohol is a dangerous combination. These two substances mixed together cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.  This can result in feelings of panic and anxiety in the immediate or short term, and the long term damage to cardiovascular health is still unknown.

  1. Keep a charged cell phone on you in case you get lost

Although most people don’t leave the room without their cell phone, make sure to have a charged phone with you if you plan on consuming alcohol. By doing so you’ll be able to contact someone whether you are in an unsafe situation or if you need a ride home.

FYI:

There is well documented data on the negative effectives of alcohol especially within the younger population of students in their early 20s. The risks of brain damage are high during this time of development. Drinking will damage the dendrites, which are the end of neurons in the brain, which make it difficult to transmit messages.

Furthermore, excessive drinking does not only affect you physically but can also have a negative impact on your academics. According to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 25% of college students reported binge drinking to have had a negative effect on their grades, causing them to fall behind.

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