Now, more than ever, responsible drinking should be top of mind. The heartbreaking news of the young student from Acadia who died last week after consuming a large quantity of alcohol represents an opportunity for all of us to consider the harmful effects of alcohol consumption and learn from this tragedy.
Did you know that if you have more than four drinks at one occasion, it’s considered binge drinking which is harmful to your health. Responsible drinking involves counting and measuring drinks. Have a plan and stick to it to avoid over-consumption. Here are some helpful tips to put you on the right path:
● Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
● Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.
● Use the three s’s to avoid excessive drinking - space drinks, sip drinks and socialize.
● Avoid competitive drinking/drinking games or catch-up with your friends who started drinking earlier than you. Anyone or anything that keeps you from making a personal decision about when, where or how much to drink is a form of bullying - don’t succumb to peer pressure.
A house party or night out on the town often involves alcohol, and people should consider these responsible drinking tips:
● Arrange for a designated driver before the night gets underway.
● Don’t leave your drink unattended.
● Keep an eye on your friends to ensure they’re not overindulging.
● Don’t accept drinks from someone you don’t know or have just met.
● If at all possible, leave with the same friends whom you went to the bar or party with in the first place.
● If you don’t have a designated driver, take public transit or a taxi to ensure you arrive alive.
● If you drink, don’t drive.
If you decide to host a party, you’re responsible for the health, wellness and safety of your guests. Here are some tips for the host/hostess:
● Have plenty of non-alcoholic drink options on hand.
● Serve food.
● Discourage drinking games or binge drinking.
● Arrange for alternate transportation or a place to sleep for your guests who have too much to drink.
If you feel that you or someone you know misuses or abuses alcohol, you should try to get help for yourself or them. A good place to start is the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness website at www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/addictions/alcohol where you will find a wealth of information on alcohol and its harmful effects.
Please drink responsibly.