So you’re planning an evening out with your mates but usually an evening out means an evening of binge drinking and nothing but regrets the next morning.
Most people don’t intend to get hammered on a night out but once you down your first few drinks, it’s like you can’t say no, somehow alcohol helps us lose our inhibitions and leaves us worse for wear the next morning. So how do we avoid excessively drinking and just enjoy one or two drinks without it turning into an all-out binge? Here are a few pointers on how to drink moderately and responsibly:
- Lose bad company. The old saying about birds of feather really is true when it comes to habits like binge drinking. The biggest cause of binge drinking is culture and peers. Most people drink because all their friends drink and when we go out especially on the weekend, we tend to want to get intoxicated together, not many people enjoy getting drunk alone, unless they have a drinking problem. So lose the bad company until you are strong enough to say no and drink according to your own limits. Remember what your friends can handle may not necessarily be what you can handle.
- Be extra cautious when you are drowning your sorrows or when you are celebrating. Make sure that you are in control and aware that you may be using alcohol to feel better. Be mindful as you can end up feeling even more depressed when it wears off. If you suspect that you are possibly depressed and not coping, then seek advice and help instead of masking it with drinking. If you are drinking to cope with a setback be responsible and arrange safe transport home.
- Consciously monitor the amount of alcohol you consume on a night out. Make it a rule and a habit to have a glass of water in between every drink and eat a hearty meal before drinking. Set a limit for yourself and stick to it. If you are a woman, make sure that you are consuming less than your male friends because it takes less to get you drunk than it does them.
- Remember that we get very thirsty when we drink because alcohol is a diuretic and the trick is to drink water. If we don’t, we tend to drink more alcohol to quench the thirst, making the problem worse.
- Have “small” drinks and dilute in as much soda or water as you can. Find the drink that you enjoy the taste of and sip it. If it is a wine or beer and if your chosen drink is a spirit, dilute it in water or soda, this will keep the added sugar content down.
- If drinking with a group of friends, make sure there is a designated driver that doesn’t drink even one drink. Not only can this person drive you home but they can look out for your safety and wellbeing while you drink. They can also monitor how much you drink and help you stick to your limits because they are thinking clearly whereas you will probably not be after a few drinks.