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TIPS FOR RESPONSIBLE DRINKING

Published:Wednesday | December 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

ALCOHOL MEANS MORE WEIGHT

Alcohol is calorie-dense, so too much of it will pack on the pounds, which no one wants.

KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS

If you do not already know how much alcohol you can consume without losing it, try them out one time at home among people you trust. Knowing your limitations and sticking to them is very important. Equally important is knowing the alcoholic content of each liquor you plan to consume. Weekly alcohol consumption should be no more than 21 units of alcohol for a mature male and 14 units for a mature female, which would be equivalent to about two glasses of red or white wine five times a week or two beers five times a week.

It is very important to know how much alcohol your system can absorb before you start to feel the effects. This way, you will know if it's just one beer for you at the party, without you gulping down half-dozen and not remembering what happens after that or forgetting what a complete fool you made of yourself.

BEWARE OF FANCY MIXES

While it may be good to sample new, exciting beverages and cocktails, don't be fooled by the fancy names and delicious-sounding flavours. Some of these mixes can be really deceiving. You may find yourself caught up in the delicious flavour and overindulge. Before you realise it, your head is spinning like a gig and your knees are wobbling like an off-balanced washing machine tumbler. Always adequately space out your drinks, no matter how good they taste.

DON'T MIX ALCOHOL WITH DRUGS

Whether it's flu medicine, painkillers, sleeping pills, antibiotics, prescription meds, anti-depressants - you name it, it doesn't matter. It is a really bad idea to mix alcohol with drugs. A real no-no! Whatever meds you are on, make sure they're out of your system before adding alcohol. Or, better yet, avoid alcohol altogether. Way too many persons ignore that medication warning - 'NOT TO BE TAKEN WITH ALCOHOL' - to their detriment.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Don't force someone to drink it they
    don't want to. They may abstain for religious or medical reasons,
    because they are recovering alcoholics, or they just may not like the
    taste and effect alcohol has on them.
  • If you know you have to
    drive, drastically limit your alcohol intake, drink lots of water, and
    eat while having that one glass or beer. And make sure you drink that
    limited amount at least an hour before driving.
  • Alcohol intake is for adults - 18 years and older.
  • If you are the bartender for the event, act responsibly and watch out
    for those who don't know their limit and those who have already had
    enough. Don't always top up because the glass is half or even empty.
  • As the host, try to serve alcohol per hour and use small cups and
    glasses. Make sure food items are always available for persons to snack
    on while drinking. Nuts, cheese and meat items are good choices. Make
    sure you have non-alcoholic beverages easily available. Don't allow
    guests to drive if you think they are drunk. Call them a cab or ask
    someone to drive them home.
  • Despite belief, coffee is not an
    instant 'sober-upper'. As one expert put it, all you get from drinking
    coffee to counter alcohol is being wide awake and drunk.

By all means, have an enjoyable, peaceful, happy, safe, responsible, sensible, healthy holidays.

yourhealth@gleanerjm.com