‘Tis the Season to be Merry
Christmas is rapidly approaching and many of us will celebrate the festive season over a drink or three with friends, family, or work colleagues. While the end of the year is often a happy and fun time, it can also be a time of excess - especially when it comes to alcohol. The party season can take its toll on our health and may affect our safety at work. So, what can we do to enjoy the best of the season without compromising our safety? Read on to find out.
Not everyone chooses to drink alcohol. But if you do, to stay safe, try the following tips:
• Make water, or something soft, your first drink - if possible. It will help quench your thirst and will help prevent you downing your first alcoholic drink too quickly
• Drink alcoholic drinks slowly
• Choose low alcohol varieties of beer or wine
• Make every second drink water or non-alcoholic
• Avoid drinking on an empty stomach
• Eat throughout the party
• Count the number of standard drinks - not glasses of alcohol
• If possible, pour your own drinks so you can be sure how much you have consumed
• Don’t drink and drive
The day after
It takes time for your body to get rid of alcohol. If it has been a big night, your blood alcohol level may still be too high to drive or work the next day. This is because alcohol is broken down by the liver and it takes, on average, one hour for the liver to metabolise one standard drink. Nothing can speed that up. Drinking water, sports drinks, coffee or even vomiting won’t help the liver metabolise the alcohol any faster. Also, alcohol will continue to enter the blood for up to 2 hours after the last drink. So, be aware, your blood alcohol level may be above zero well into the next day.
The other thing you may have to contend with the day after, is a hangover. A hangover is the body’s reaction to drinking too much alcohol. It is likely a mix of exhaustion, thirst, and the body going haywire because it has recently been poisoned. Symptoms can include headache and dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound and excessive thirst.
The problem with both a raised alcohol level and a hangover is that they will make you less alert, impair your memory and slow down your reaction times. All of which means you may not be fit to drive or fit to work the day after.
DASA has a suite of workplace drug and alcohol educational material, including our “What is a Standard Drink?” animated fact sheet. If you would like a copy of that fact sheet, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
From all of us at DASA, drink responsibly, stay safe and look after one another this festive season.