Have you ever heard the phrase “Pick your poison?” It commonly refers to drinking, but many of us drink the “poison” anyway. This is because drinking can make you feel differently than you usually do. It is literally intoxicating and lowers your inhibitions. While it may provide a good feeling, it does not come without consequences. That is why is important to drink responsibly, which means taking personal responsibility even while under the influence of alcohol. Luckily, doing so is quite easy.
Here are the ways you can drink responsibly:
- Drink in moderation. We all know about hangovers, but sometimes we still get them. Instead of waking up with a headache, learn when to stop. If you don’t stop, you risk fatal alcohol poisoning. That is just a short term consequence. Alcohol is an addictive substance and if you are not careful, drinking alcohol might become a bigger part of your life. Alcoholism and poisoning can be prevented by drinking in moderation.
- Make sure you have a safe way to return home. We’ve all heard this before, but that is for a good reason. Driving drunk will not just get you a ticket. You risk your life and the lives of others if you are driving under the influence. I won’t get behind the wheel with even one drink in my system. Don’t even get in the car with someone else that has been drinking. People with a higher tolerance are still not completely capable drivers. You may not want to upset your friend by turning down a ride, but being perceived as rude is better than risking both of your lives. Have someone take their keys away. Even walking home alone is risky. If no one knows where you are, they can’t find you if you need help. You could easily stumble into the street and get hit by a car. Make sure you have a designated driver or a cab to take you home.
- Learn your limits. In the article, “Alcohol, Drugs, and Personal Choice: Why College Parties Are Overrated,” Shilpa Kancharla points out that while drinking can be fun, it can also cause personal trouble. You will have to face what you did in the morning. If a future employer sees pictures of you misbehaving online, it can determine whether or not you are hired. Everyone is affected differently by drinking, so don’t force yourself to keep up with everyone else. Try to stop drinking before you do something you regret.
- Drink in a safe and comfortable environment. Drinking can affect your judgment and coordination, which makes it easier for you to be harmed. It is not your fault if someone else harms you, but do try to keep people you trust around when you are drinking. You never know when you might need them. If you ever don’t feel safe, remove yourself from the situation if you can.
- Consult the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) chart to give you an idea of how drinks affect you based on your body weight.
- Don’t bother drinking until you are legally allowed to. Different countries have different legal drinking ages. Different households have different rules about drinking. Just know that there is a reason the age limit is what it is. Some reports say your brain isn’t even done developing until you are twenty five. Don’t get arrested for a few hours of fun. You have your whole life ahead of you.
These are just a few tips to drink more safely. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, but keep in mind what you are risking when you do so. Use your judgment. The most important thing is to make it through the night safely.
Image: Arvind Grover