Safer drinking over the festive season

Although lots of us look forward to Christmas all year, the festive season can be difficult to manage . . . and sometimes even dangerous.

Did you know – There are more trips to A&E during December than any other month! This includes over 80,000 trips for Christmas related accidents such as burns in the kitchen, electric shocks from lights and drunken falls.

Christmas is the only time of year where boozing in the morning is more or less encouraged.

But in a year when the NHS is stretched like never before – and COVID hangs over us all – there are a few things we can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe when drinking alcohol this Christmas.

Stay safe this Christmas and follow our 12 top tips to keep you safe when drinking!

  1. Stay within drinking guidelines – try not to drink more than 14 units, which is six standard glasses of 13% wine or six pints of 4% beer, in any week
  2. Drink Free Days – allocate several days every week to not drinking – the drink free days. This will help to reduce the overall amount of alcohol that you drink and let family and friends know that you are not always drinking and that it’s perfectly normal not to do so.
  3. Pace yourself – Drink Water – Help your body clear out the alcohol by drinking plenty of water or soft drinks between alcoholic drinks.
  4. Stop the top-ups -Stop topping up your glass before its empty. This can help you to keep track of how much you’ve had!
  5. Check your Wee – Alcohol is a diuretic; in other words, it encourages your body to flush away water. If your urine is dark amber or strong smelling your body is dehydrated and if you drink alcohol this can stress your liver.
  6. Drink slowly – This gives your body – and more importantly your liver – time to metabolise and flush the toxins from your body.
  7. Eat before drinking – Never drink on an empty stomach, drinking on an empty stomach floods your body with alcohol and forces your liver to work too hard. A healthy meal before you go out or start drinking, and snacks between drinks can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol, helping you stay in control
  8. Go ‘NoLo’ – Try replacing alcohol with a no or low alcohol alternative or an alcohol-free mocktail – they are just as tasty
  9. Downsize – Try downsizing your alcoholic drinks. Not only will help you to drink less it will also reduce the number of calories you are take on board
  10. Don’t drink and drive – Remember drink driving kills. It’s best to avoid alcohol completely if you are driving, even if on the morning after
  11. Don’t give in to peer pressure – It’s very easy to feel peer pressure whether your out with friends or at home. You don’t need to have ‘one for the road’ another one might actually hurt. It’s ok to say no or leave a drink untouched.
  12. Look to the Future – The New Year is a fantastic opportunity to look at the amount of alcohol you drink and, where required, to make changes to your drinking that can benefit your health and well-being in 2021.