A Quick Guide to Drinking Responsibly at Parties

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Who doesn’t love a good party? And quite often a party host will offer his or her guests an array of alcoholic beverages. But that doesn’t mean you need to get falling down drunk. You can still enjoy alcoholic beverages without getting drunk and potentially doing or saying something you’ll regret the next day.

Ten ways to drink responsibly at parties

  1. Know your limit. The best way to drink responsibly is to know how much you can drink without becoming drunk and, most importantly, to stay within those boundaries. Most people can probably have one drink such as a glass of wine or an appropriately mixed cocktail every hour and still be in control. If you are unsure of your limit, drink less than the norm.
  1. Eat food. Food will help slow the absorbtion of alcohol into your circulatory system. High protein foods such as cheese and nuts are especially helpful.
  1. Make your drink last. Don’t rush to gulp down your drink just to get a quick buzz. Instead, enjoy your drink by sipping it, taking your time to taste and smell the various flavors.
  1. Don’t let anyone force a drink on you. At parties someone may insist that you have “just one more”. Stick to your guns and accept only non-alcoholic drinks. Also, pay attention to make sure that someone is not refilling your glass without your knowledge.
  1. Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Often people drink too much alcohol at a party because it feels comforting to hold a drink and sip on it during pauses in conversation. By alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks you can still feel comfortable without imbibing nearly as much alcohol.
  1. Stick to known drinks. Stick to drinks where you know your limits. For example, you may know your limit for wine or a gin and tonic but there are numerous fruit drinks that can be deceptive since the sweetness of the fruit can hide the impact of the alcohol.
  1. Appoint a designated driver. Even if you’ve stayed within your limit and do not feel drunk, imbibing any alcohol at all with slow your reflexes. Before the party, appoint a designated driver who will not be drinking and who can drive you home.
  1. Be extra cautious if you are using medication. Many medications, including over the counter cold medicines, can exacerbate the effect of alcohol. Some prescription medications should never be used with alcohol at all. Be sure to read and understand all warnings for medications before drinking at a party.
  1. Don’t insist that others drink. If a fellow party-goer refuses your offer of a drink, then respect his or her wish. They may have a religious, medical or other reason for not wishing to drink alcoholic beverages. Offer them a non-alcoholic beverage of their choice instead.
  1. Never drink alcoholic drinks on an empty stomach on a hot day. This is a dangerous combination that might produce hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can cause shakiness, confusion, anxiety and heart palpitations.
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