Practicing responsible drinking is the only way to enjoy alcohol, binge drinking on the other hand leaves behind negative effects that can be felt long after the “buzz” has worn off.
It is important that drinkers learn about the ways to keep their alcohol intake in check and learn how to drink responsibly.
Being a responsible drinker involves making sure you’re safe, making sure those around you are safe, actively avoiding dangerous situations, minimising the risks to yourself and others andhaving a positive overall drinking experience.
How can you ensure a responsible drinking experience?
- Be knowledgeable about what you’re drinking. Know what a standard drink is and use it as a way of keeping track of how much you’re drinking. Consider the alcohol content in each drink you consume and make sure that you space out your drinks throughout the night instead of downing them one after the other. Alternate one alcoholic drink with one non-alcoholic one or a glass of water to sustain you over the night. It takes up to an hour for your body to process each unit of alcohol. So have a break between drinks.
- When drinking shooters or shots, keep in mind that they usually have a higher alcohol content. Also drink water between your drinks to help you keep hydrated and keep the hang over at bay.
- Avoid mixing alcohol and other drugs. The impact of mixing alcohol and other drugs whether medication or recreational can be devastating and land you in the emergency room. If you’re on medication, check the information in the box to see what it says about drinking alcohol.
Some of the side effects of combining drinking and drugs include death from internal bleeding, heart problems, difficulty breathing, headaches, drowsiness, fainting and loss of coordination, problems only made worse when behind the wheel of a car.
- Arrange safe transport home. Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol is a depressant drug which slows down your reaction speed, which means if you need to think and act fast, you probably won’t be able to. If you’re going out with a group of friends have a designated responsible driver who remains sober and make sure everyone gets home safely. If no one wants to have a sober night, bring enough money for a taxi.
- Wait until you’re old enough. Underage drinking is not only against the law, but can be detrimental to your health and physical as well as mental development. Under Responsible Service of Alcohol law serving alcohol to minors carries major fines for workers, management and owners of establishments, but the real cost of serving teenagers are the social consequences, such as teenage drink driving, teenage pregnancy and teenage violence. Teenagers who attempt to buy alcohol can also be fined, as can other parents who attempt to provide alcohol to their children’s friends without their parents’ consent.
- Finish your drink too quickly and you’ll feel pressured to get another. Instead, make your drink and your evening last longer. Enjoy your drink and your night out by chatting, sipping, snacking, drinking water and getting fresh air.