Strategies to Minimize Alcohol-Related Harm

To reduce your risk of harm from drinking, you do not have to give up socializing, you just have to plan ahead and stick with your plan.

If you Drink, Drink Smart

  • Keep track of how much you drink by counting “standard drinks.”
  • Eat before & while you are drinking.
  • Avoid drinking games.
  • Don’t drink too much, too fast. Keep it to one or fewer per hour.

Be Aware of Risky Activities and Settings

  • Select a designated driver who will not drink that night.
  • Be cautious where large quantities of free/low cost alcohol are available.
  • Let a nondrinker know where you will be if you go out drinking.
  • Have an exit plan in mind before attending a drinking event.

Plan for Risky Social Situations

  • Set a limit of how much you’re going to drink & stick to it.
  • Keep in mind that choosing not to drink is always a legitimate choice.
  • Be cautious about drinking too much on dates where sex is a possibility.
  • Know the signs of alcohol poisoning.
  • If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning — even if you don't see the classic signs and symptoms — seek immediate medical care.
    • If the person is unconscious, breathing less than eight times a minute or has repeated, uncontrolled vomiting, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

If you don’t drink, and are offered a drink try saying:

  • “No thanks, I’m not drinking tonight.”
  • “My sinus meds interact with alcohol, so I’m not drinking tonight.”
  • “Do I seem sober, really? Really?”
  • “I’m DD tonight.”
  • Build Drink Refusal Skills

A Can of Bull? The Truth about Energy Drinks

1 can of Red Bull and 1.25 oz vodka (1 shot) = about 75 mg caffeine, at least 100 cal of sugar and about 80 cal of alcohol.

  • Alcohol Calorie Counter
  • So what is the big deal?
    • Caffeine & alcohol may be a dangerous combination: stimulant meets depressant.
    • Both are diuretics, which mean they may cause dehydration.
    • Mixing the two may boost heart rate & blood pressure.
    • Mixing the two may mask a person’s level of intoxication: the body may not experience fatigue & the stimulant effect may give a person the impression of not being impaired.

It’s Your Choice!

The choice whether to drink or not is always yours to make. If you choose to drink, your pattern of drinking & consequences of the decisions you make will also be yours to experience and accept. If you choose not to drink, make a plan & stick to it.