Tips for Setting Drinking Limits if You Choose to Drink

by Sara Waldron on December 6, 2016

How can I manage my drinking limits…

If you choose to drink, be smart and safe in your decisions. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to begin to set drinking limits and stick to them in social settings. It’s important to understand how your body reacts to certain types of and specific amounts of alcohol. Ethanol is a chemical in alcoholic beverages, which acts as a central nervous system depressant and is often used as a tropical disinfectant. It’s important to be cautious when drinking alcohol because ethanol is intoxicating and addictive.

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Why does my body react this way?

Alcohol is absorbed into your body through the stomach and small intestines. It flows through the bloodstream throughout the body, reaching your heart, brain, and muscles. This process happens very quickly and may offer a pleasant effect. Food slows down the rate of absorption so it’s important to not drink on an empty stomach. Your body can’t store the alcohol so your liver is mainly responsible for breaking it down.

When you drink alcohol in small quantity, it affects your mood and emotion. When your inhibitions are lowered you may feel more at ease in social situations or less stressed about daily events in your life. In these situations, remember to be cautious because alcohol affects physical and mental abilities in any amount and can have serious consequences. Also keep in mind, regular drinking has been associated with obesity; cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus; cirrhosis of the liver; brain damage and memory loss.

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Tips for Setting and Keeping Drinking Limits

    1. Track your drinks and count bottle caps and can tabs. Make sure to set your limit of drinks before you start drinking and stick to that number. Another trick is using coins to keep track of your total drinks for the night.
    2. Measure and consume your drinks in the standard serving sizes. When you are ordering a drink be sure to stay away from ordering the larger portion or ordering in a tall glass. If you are making yourself a drink use a portion measure to make sure it’s really only one drink.
    3. Alternate drinking alcohol and water to prevent going over your limit. Make sure to keep drinking water throughout the evening to keep to your limited drink number and stay hydrated.
    4. Drink with friends who have the same low limits. Keep your social circle to friends who have similar drinking limits so you can keep each other on track. Be sure to avoid situations that may involve binge drinking and other dangerous situations.
    5. Be aware of unfamiliar drink mixtures. Steer away from drinks mixed with a multiple alcohol mixture especially fruit and rum combination drinks. These drinks can be deceiving as how much alcohol is actually in them.

 

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Sub heading: If you choose to drink, set safe limits and always designate a sober driver to get everyone home safely. Try following some of those tips to reduce negative impacts on your health, relationships, or school work. Also make sure to like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events at: my.bridgew.edu/OutreachEducation.

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Be Safe. BE SMART. Be a Sober Driver.

by Katie Bogusz on November 29, 2016

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, is a group that works to shed light on the dangers of drunk driving.  MADD is putting on a red ribbon campaign this holiday season to “show your commitment to eliminating drunk driving” (MADD).  The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of deadliest times on the road.  Many people go to parties and out to bars to celebrate the holidays.  No one would want to tarnish this heartwarming and fun time of year with tragedy so make sure you drive safely.  The BSU Peer Educators and Outreach Education want you to Be Safe.  BE SMART.  Be a Sober driver.  The BSU Peer Educators will be distributing bracelets and post-it notes  to remind student to be sober drivers!

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The Holiday Season and Impaired Driving

When people think of the holiday season they are more than likely not thinking about how dangerous the roads will be.  But in fact the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of the deadliest times on the road and accounts for some of the highest arrest rates for drunk drivers.  “Blackout Wednesday, which occurs the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest drinking days of the year…” and it “accounts for more than 400 traffic deaths each year” (2015 Holidays Drinking and Driving Stats).

The time between December and January is also a dangerous time on the road because many people are celebrating different holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa as well as the New Year.  There are a lot more traffic stops during this time of year because police know that many more people are going to holiday parties and drinking.  Although there are more stops this does not account for everyone being able to get home safely.  On New Year’s Eve about “42% of the traffic accidents of that day” are linked to drinking and driving (2015 Holidays Drinking and Driving).  Sadly it is estimated that there were “…1,200 alcohol-related deaths over the 2015 holiday season” (2015 Holidays Drinking and Driving).   It’s important to make sure you are not driving impaired this holiday season to ensure your safety!

Holiday Drunk Driving:

Best way to stop yourself from drunk driving?…PLAN AHEAD!

If you are going to a party or event where drinking is involved make sure to plan ahead about how and when you will be getting home, because that is the best way to prevent impaired driving.  If you decide that you are going to drink, ask a friend or family member to pick you up or use another to be a sober driver.  Once a person volunteers to be a sober driver this does not mean, he/she is the least drunk person there.  A sober driver is a sober driver, who has not been drinking.

If you are going out in a more urban area or an area with public transit there are a variety of ways to get home safely.  Apps allow you to have a driver who can shuttle you around to wherever you want to go by setting up pick-up and drop off locations on the your smartphone.  There are also taxi companies in many towns across the country that allow you to call them to set up a pick up time and location which also are an important tool for getting home safely.  Finally, in many cities and towns across the country there is public transportation that is usually more affordable and take you wherever you need to go.

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Show YOUR Commitment to Eliminating Drunk Driving

As previously mentioned, the Outreach Education Office and the BSU Peer Educators are distributing bracelets and post-it notes throughout the month of December as a pledge to drive safe, sober, and buckled up during the holiday season.  It’s so important that we make sure to tell our friends, peers, and family the dangers of driving impaired, especially during the holiday season.  There are so many safer ways to get home without driving impaired.  Plus you don’t need alcohol to have fun!  Take a stand against impaired driving this holiday season and show support for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

If you would like to learn more about MADD and their ribbon campaign you can visit their website at, http://www.madd.org/.  To learn more about Outreach Education as well as the BSU Peer Educators: like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events at: my.bridgew.edu/OutreachEducation.

 

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