Drinking at social events is an acceptable norm now a days. Be it office parties, behind the curtains, at sit-down dinners or house-warming – there are rarely any parties or social events which do not have alcoholic beverages served. So when you turn a drink down and announce you are a teetotaller, jaw-dropping is the natural reaction. The reasons for you may vary from disinterest to bad experiences to fear of being addicted. All are valid reasons. But if you do enjoy a drink or two occasionally, here are a few tips to always be in charge…
- Do your homework Get some information about the various alcoholic beverages served. Look up the common ones. Understand that the alcohol content in them as it varies. Taste a few at home to familiarize and understand what flavours you like and are comfortable with. You can also learn about what kind of drinks goes with what food.
- Pace yourself Sip your drink instead of gulping it down. Set an upper limit beforehand. Two drinks is a good limit. Dilute the stronger drinks with water or juice or cold drinks of your choice.
- Remember to stay hydrated Water is your best friend. Drinking water helps in flushing out the toxins as well as staying sober.
- Don’t mix your drinks It’s not advisable to experiment with different types of alcohol at the same time. It may not suit you. Stick to what you are most comfortable with.
- Eat, drink, and be merry Snacking on food items helps in controlling the intoxication that comes along with drinking alcohol. Foods high in protein slow down the absorption of alcohol into our system. Never drink on an empty stomach as you may get intoxicated faster. Remember that drinks are accompaniments to food, not the other way around.
- Be aware of yourself Be aware of where you are and what is your role there. Notice the way you handle your drink. Remember that alcohol consumption lowers your inhibitions and dulls your senses. Hence, it is very important to know when to say NO.
- Saying No You can say “No” to social drinking every once a while. You don’t have to drink just because everyone else is. Don’t drink if you don’t feel like it. Have a soft drink instead.
Too much of anything is bad. Repetitive usage makes it a habit. When you cannot do without that habit, it becomes an addiction. When your life starts revolving around that habit, it becomes an addiction. When your personal, professional and social life gets impaired because of that habit, it becomes an addiction.
There is no compulsion to drink alcoholic beverages. You can stick to juices or aerated non – alcoholic beverages or water when you attend social events. It is your choice.
So if you choose to be a social drinker, keep it to that. It’s when you start using social outings as an excuse to drink; you are a step away from getting addicted.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the common alcoholic beverages available and served –
Alcoholic Beverage – Alcohol Content*
Wine Between 9% to 16% (most often 12.5% –14.5%)
Beer Between 2% to 12% (usually 4% – 6%)
Rum Between 37.5% to 80%
Vodka Between 35% to 50% (usually 40%)
Brandy Between 35%–60% (usually 40%)
Whisky 40%–55% (usually 40% or 43%)
Gin Between 40% to 50%
The ideal number of drinks shouldn’t exceed more than 2 glasses. If the event goes on for a longer duration, switch to water or soft drinks. Remember addiction is bad and it’s your duty to keep it at bay. Here’s to responsible drinking.