The Public Health Agency (PHA) has issued its advice and tips for party goers and other drinking alcohol over the Christmas period.
Stressing the serious damage to your health over-indulgence in alcohol can cause, Michael Owen, the PHA’s lead for Drugs and Alcohol, said: “Many of us like to have a drink at Christmas and we’re not saying people shouldn’t, but it’s important that we enjoy ourselves safely.”
“Many people do not realise that alcohol is a powerful drug and we need to be careful how we use it. Drinking too much has a negative impact on you and those around you. By setting a plan you can avoid binge drinking, which has been shown to have adverse effects on our health and safety. The alcohol guidelines recommend that both men and women drink no more than 14 units per week. If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more. You can’t ‘save up’ your units for a particular day or a party.”
The PHA has issued the following tips:
*Eat before or while drinking and avoid salty snacks, which make you thirsty.
*Be assertive – don’t be pressured into drinking more than you want or intend to.
*Know your limits and stick to them.
*Stay busy – don’t just sit and drink. Dance or have a game of pool if you’re at a pub.
*Try not to confuse large measures of alcohol with standard measures, eg a glass of wine served at a party or at home may be much larger than the standard 125ml.
*Keep track of your drinks and don’t let people top up your drink until it’s finished.
*Try alternating alcoholic drinks with water or other non-alcoholic drinks. Add plenty of mixer to your drinks to make them last longer.
*Avoid rounds, ‘shouts’ and kitties – drink at your own pace, not someone else’s.
*Drink slowly – take sips, not gulps and don’t mix alcohol with any other drugs, including prescription medication.
To find out more or to get help from a professional for yourself, or someone else – visit www.drugsandalcoholni.info