Surely you have heard the expression “responsible drinking,” but what in the world does that mean? It means keeping yourself and those around you safe. To begin with, it is important for each individual that is consuming alcohol to be aware of the following:
- Know your limit. Not sure how much alcohol your body can handle without losing control? That means you never drank before. Stay home with your parents or friends so they can help you if you need them to stop you from drinking. Once you know your limit, don’t go past that, or get help in making sure you don’t. My husband often tells me on Purim, “Please don’t allow me any more wine after this cup.”(And he is quite drunk at that point!) It is a responsible way of ensuring he won’t go past his tolerance level.
- Eat food while you drink. It is particularly good to eat foods loaded with protein which help to slow the absorption of alcohol into the circulatory system. Purim is a busy day and being drunk often involves lots of dancing away from the table. Make sure you eat the portion of food served to you, especially the meat.
- Proper hydration is critically important. Drink plenty of water before you start drinking any alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic and can easily cause dehydration. The more alcohol you drink, the thirstier you feel, so having plenty of water in your body will keep you from wanting even more alcohol. In addition, drinking water or even Coke between alcoholic beverages will help you enjoy the alcohol and avoid passing out.
- Don’t drink if you are taking meds unless you get an okay from your doctor. Many are sadly unaware that they must be careful- even with over-the-counter drugs, including sleeping pills and cold or cough medicines. One should refrain from drinking alcohol while taking certain arthritic drugs, antibiotics, anti-depressants, and many other prescription meds. Call your physician or local pharmacy before you drink while on any prescription drug.
- Download a safety app. There’s nothing like being well prepared, especially if you know you may lose control when intoxicated. An example of a safety app would be the award-winning Circle of 6. It allows you to add six people that you trust in case of an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situation. With just a tap of a button you can send prepared text messages. For instance, if you get lost in unfamiliar territory, you can tap the GPS pin and it sends a text to your circle saying “Come to get me” with your exact location. Think you might pass out? Vomiting or just feeling very sick? Let your family or friends know where you are so they can make you comfortable, take you home, or get medical attention ASAP.
Don’t Forget! It is crucial for people to respect those who don’t want to drink. Don’t tempt them or push them if they refuse.
Written By: Nissi Unger