Frosh week and the return to university often involves drinking, so it’s important for students to recognize the signs of overconsumption and what it means to drink responsibly. It’s also important for parents to discuss responsible drinking with their kids.
Did you know that having more than four drinks at one occasion is considered binge drinking and is harmful to your health? Responsible drinking involves having a plan and sticking to it. Count and measure your drinks to avoid over-consumption. Here are some helpful tips to put you on the right path:
- Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Use the three s’s to avoid excessive drinking – space drinks, sip drinks and socialize.
- Avoid competitive drinking, drinking games or catch-up with your friends who started drinking earlier than you. Anyone or anything that keeps you from making a personal decision about when, where or how much to drink is a form of bullying – don’t succumb to peer pressure.
A house party or night out on the town often involves alcohol. It’s always fun to meet up with friends and take in our beautiful city; however, we encourage you to consider these responsible drinking tips while doing so:
- Know where your drink is coming from: watch your drink being poured by a professional bar staff or pour your drink yourself. Don’t share drinks or accept a drink from someone you don’t know.
- Watch your drink: keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom. If you realize you’ve left your drink unattended, pour it out.
- Keep an eye on your friends to ensure they’re not overindulging.
- When you are out drinking, don't leave with strangers or people you don't feel comfortable with.
- Arrange for a designated driver before the night gets underway. It’s a good idea to have one friend stay sober for the evening to keep an eye out for those who choose to drink.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, take public transit or a taxi to ensure you arrive alive. If you drink, don’t drive.
If you feel drunk and haven't drunk any alcohol, or, if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual, or if you feel you have been drugged, get help right away.
If you host a party, you’re responsible for the health, wellness and safety of your guests. Here are some tips for you fabulous hosts/hostesses:
- Have plenty of non-alcoholic drink options on hand.
- Serve food.
- Discourage drinking games or binge drinking.
- Arrange alternate transportation or a place to sleep for guests who have too much to drink.
Know someone who misuses or abuses alcohol? Visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/addictions/alcohol for information on alcohol and its harmful effects as well as a self-assessment to see if it may be time to make a change.
Please drink responsibly.