If you’ll be raising a pint in celebration of Irish Weekend (or any weekend at the Jersey Shore), keep a few safety tips in mind.
- Don’t mix drinking with drugs — prescription or otherwise. Some medications (like antidepressants) can make you more susceptible to the effects of alcohol.
- Don’t mix drinking and driving. Designate a driver, call a taxi, or use public transportation.
- Don’t mix drinking and water. That means no swimming, boating, diving, or other water sports while drunk. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, reaction time, and coordination — you’re far more likely to have an accident if you’ve been drinking.
- Know your limits and stick to them. If you don’t trust yourself to know when you’ve had enough… maybe you shouldn’t be drinking.
- Drink slowly. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink. Non-alcoholic drinks are often cheaper, so this will be easier on your wallet AND your body. Did you know that it can take as much as 90 minutes before you fully feel the effects of an alcoholic drink?
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Eat while you drink. This will help slow alcohol absorption.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you’ll be drinking alcohol. This can help keep your body hydrated (and help reduce the aftermath of a night of partying).
- Take time to familiarize yourself with local laws about alcohol — like open container laws.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended.
- Don’t accept an open beverage from anybody but the bartender.
Remember that ANY amount of alcohol can impair your judgment and coordination. The degree of impairment depends on how much you drink, your weight, how long you consume alcohol, and whether or not you’ve eaten.
Know the signs of alcohol poisoning — it can save a life. Common signs of alcohol poisoning include unconsciousness, slow and/or shallow breathing, slow pulse (less than 40 beats per minute), and cold/pale/clammy skin. If you see one or more of the above signs, get medical help immediately. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal! The faster you act, the better chance of survival.