Tips For Drinking Safely This Spring Break
March 15, 2019
Alright. So. You’ve decided to drink alcohol this Spring Break. I get it; lots of people do it. And, let’s be real: drinking can be fun. But it can also be dangerous, especially if you’ve struggled with over-consumption, compulsive use, or a full-blown use disorder. Just because it’s legal does not mean it’s safe. Long-term alcohol misuse can lead to a host of health problems, like liver cirrhosis, memory loss, and heart disease. In the United States, 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year, which is more than deaths from all other drugs combined. All of this to say: the risks are real, but there are measures you can take to stay safe.
Set a Limit Beforehand
Big Spring Break parties are notorious for being loaded with copious amounts of liquor and beer. It’s really easy to drink way too much when it’s just sitting there, available for consumption. To help avoid alcohol poisoning, set a limit and stick to it. This is going to vary based on your own body composition and tolerance–but two to four drinks is a pretty reasonable average limit. Don’t rely on your own willpower to keep yourself in check. Afterall, alcohol is known for lowering inhibitions. So take measures to avoid going over your limit. Ask a trusted friend to help you keep to your limit, and set encouraging reminders for yourself in your phone. Keep busy with non-alcohol related activities, too. Have non-alcoholic drinks inbetween those rum and cokes. Don’t forget to keep count of your alcoholic beverages! That may seem obvious, but losing count is a real easy way to go overboard! And try not to spend too much time hanging out next to the open bar.
Drink Water and Eat Food
Staying hydrated with water won’t help clear your blood alcohol content, but it will help prevent a nasty hangover the next day and keep you more clear-headed during the party. Dehydration can creep up on your fast and wreak on your physical and mental wellbeing. Food will also help slow down the rate of alcohol absorption a bit–though it’s ultimately not going to stop you from getting drunk. Eating food and drinking water will, however, give you something to do besides chugging beers, and can therefore help you moderate your consumption.
Don’t Drink and Drive
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29 people die each day as the result of drunk driving–and even more are injured. Even if you’ve just feel buzzed, you are probably too impaired to drive without risk. The best way to avoid a tragic mistake is to just not bring your car. If you know you’re going to be drinking, travel with a designated driver or plan to use a Rideshare like Uber or Lyft. You can cut back on costs by carpooling with your friends. Take the rideshare to the party so you’re not tempted to drive yourself back.
Avoid Other Substances
Alcohol is a depressant. That means if you take other depressants, like opioids or benzodiazepines, alcohol will potentiate the effects. That can include the euphoric effects, sure, but definitely also includes the dangers, like depressed breathing. Overdose is far more likely when you combine depressants–so don’t do it.
Combining alcohol with stimulants is also super dangerous. In this case, you’re essentially sending your body mixed signals. One substances is depressing your system, while the other is exciting it. This can lead to serious problems, like heart attacks and seizures. Not really worth it.
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