How to Drink Responsibly

As university students, one of the phrases we hear and read most often has to be that infamous “Drink Responsibly”. Our newly acquired legal status means we've finaly got access to the  parties, pub nights and club events happening every month. It is EXTREMELY important to know the consequences of consuming alcohol and how to do it safely while still enjoying your night out at Aléa or in the Byward.

Here are three seeds of wisdom that no partier should ignore:

Stay with friends. Only go out with people you can depend on. If something unsafe were to happen, you will be much more likely to know how to manage the situation if you’re with close friends rather than strangers. In addition, a big group of friends means more people looking out for each other.

Watch your drink. While most students have heard this before, we can get too excited about dancing and socializing that we forget. Although it might seem overly cautious, there are incidents of roofying on college campuses every year. This can lead to numerous dangers and could even be fatal. Some say that you can ask a friend to keep an eye on it, but they may become distracted since having their own fun is their primary focus. So the best thing to do would be to either stay with your drink and finish it or buy a new one if you leave yours unattended.

Leave your car at home. Take an Uber or cab to your destination so that driving is taken out of the equation. Yes it does cost more money, but your life is more valuable. While you or your friend might feel sober enough to drive at the end of the night, the alcohol might not have left your system and you could still be well over the legal limit. Play it safe and you won’t be at risk of harming yourself or others.

On to the drinking specifics, the following are factors that will affect your ability to hold your alcohol:

Food and Water
Having a meal before you go out can make a significant difference. The alcohol will absorb into your bloodstream and reach your brain faster if you drink on an empty stomach. People also forget that you should be eating even while you’re drinking. Foods that are fatty are the best since the fat will slow the absorption of alcohol by engaging the liver. However, once you are drunk, eating bread will not sober you up, contrary to popular belief. To avoid severe dehydration, you should also try to drink a glass of water with every glass of alcohol. While this may make you have to pee more throughout the night, you will be better off the next day.

Timing and Quantity
You should also be wary of the amount of drinks you knock back within a certain time frame. For example, having 5 shots in 5 minutes will get you drunk pretty quickly, whereas 5 shots spread out over a period of 3 or more hours will lessen the effects. Being conscious of time will make it way easier to control your body’s reaction to the alcohol.

Concentration of Alcohol
Paying attention to the types of drinks you are having is also a good idea. A mixed drink or cocktail has a lower concentration of alcohol than a shot. Plus the drink will have more volume which will help slow your drinking down. So knowing how potent your drinks are can help you control the total amount of alcohol you end up consuming.

With all that said, have fun and stay safe!


Sources: Cover, 1