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Tips for Responsible St. Patrick's Drinking

Published on Mar 17, 2023 | 2:02 PM

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St. Patrick's Day is a big event for Americans across the 50 states, with all of the food, drinks, and festivities prepared. However, the day is also associated with heavy drinking and the problems that come with it. 

Cheers to celebrations on St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is a time for celebration, and for many, that celebration often involves consuming alcohol. While enjoying a drink or two on this festive occasion can be enjoyable, it's essential to do so responsibly. Unfortunately, St. Patrick's Day has become associated with excessive drinking and even dangerous behavior, leading to increased alcohol-related accidents and injuries. 

Here are some quick tips to help you stay safe while still enjoying the celebrations.

Eat before consuming alcohol

Drinking on an empty stomach can be a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful. According to Healthline, food in the stomach basically decides the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol. With food in the stomach, a significant percentage of alcohol will be absorbed with whatever you eat, impacting you at a reduced rate. However, without food in your stomach, alcohol goes right to the small intestine, which will absorb alcohol at a far greater rate. 

The best things to eat before drinking are typically nutritious, with many sources suggesting foods like eggs, salmon, bananas, greens, yogurt, and oats. Things you should not eat before drinking include high salt foods like chips and canned meats that dehydrate your body, salads that can be digested quickly, and spicy foods or foods prone to upset your stomach. 

Practice mindful drinking and moderation

Mindful drinking on St. Patrick's Day is an essential aspect of responsible celebrations. With the temptation to drink excessively, it's crucial to be aware of how much alcohol you're consuming and how it's affecting you. Practicing mindfulness can help you stay in control of your drinking, allowing you to fully enjoy the occasion without putting your safety or the safety of others at risk. This includes being aware of the type of alcohol you're consuming, how much you're drinking, and how it's affecting your body. 

Additionally, being mindful of your surroundings can help you avoid potentially dangerous situations and make better decisions about your drinking. Remember, the key to a fun and safe St. Patrick's Day is to celebrate mindfully, making conscious choices about your alcohol consumption and behavior.

Schedule a safe ride for St. Patrick’s day

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2020 report, 36% of fatal crashes involved drunk drivers. From 2016 to 2020, that percentage has added to just under 300 people who lost their lives on St. Patrick’s day yearly. While the statistics for 2021 and 2022 are clouded, measures taken by law enforcement across the country indicate that even the most remote sign of driving under the influence will be met with a zero-tolerance policy. 

The risk of getting caught comes with a severe punishment, getting a DWI will not only remain on your record for years after but will also set you back by a large margin. According to Johnson, Johnson, and Baer, the average cost for DWI can be $20,000 or more as well as the price of remaining on your record for years to come. Therefore, it's best to give up your keys this year for St. Patrick’s day and consider getting a Lyft or Uber. Transportation companies are available 24/7 to get you home safely. Depending on where you live, your local police department may also have a program offering free rides.

Stay hydrated throughout the day

Drinking water is essential on St. Patrick's Day, especially if you plan to consume alcohol. Alcohol can cause dehydration, leading to symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Drinking water throughout the day can help prevent dehydration and minimize the negative effects of alcohol on your body. 

Additionally, drinking water can help you pace yourself and reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water can help you stay hydrated and reduce the risk of intoxication, allowing you to fully enjoy the festivities without compromising your safety or well-being. 

However, staying hydrated and drinking more water does not necessarily translate to being able to drink more alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day. Drinking water throughout the day simply allows you to be in a healthier state when you drink for a prolonged period. According to WebMD, matching each drink with a glass of water is a good idea due to the diuretic effect alcohol has on your body. Furthermore, it is encouraged that each person gets their recommended daily intake of water before drinking, 2.7 liters for women and one gallon for men. 

Be attentive to your surroundings

Being mindful on St. Patrick's Day is important for several reasons. First and foremost, the holiday is often associated with excessive drinking, which can lead to dangerous situations such as accidents, injuries, and alcohol poisoning. By practicing mindfulness, you can avoid overindulging in alcohol and reduce the risk of negative consequences. 

Additionally, being mindful on St. Patrick’s day can help you make better decisions about your behavior and surroundings, ensuring your safety and the safety of those around you. It can also help you enjoy the holiday more fully, without feeling the pressure to conform to excessive drinking or engage in risky behavior. 

Overall, being mindful on St. Patrick's Day can help you have a fun, safe, and enjoyable celebration while avoiding the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

Have fun on St. Patrick’s Day, responsibly

Remember to stay hydrated, eat a hearty meal, and avoid driving under the influence. By following these tips, you can enjoy the occasion while minimizing the risk of negative consequences associated with excessive drinking. So, raise a glass to responsible drinking and have a happy and safe St. Patrick's Day!

Source:

  1. Biggers, Alana, and Adda Bjarnadottir. “The Effects of Drinking on an Empty Stomach.” Healthline, 23 October 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/drinking-on-an-empty-stomach#on-an-empty-stomach.
  2. “Don’t Test Your Luck This St. Patrick’s Day.” NHTSA, 11 March 2022, https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/dont-test-your-luck-st-patricks-day.
  3. “Cost of DWI in Texas | Houston DWI Lawyers.” Johnson, Johnson & Baer, P.C., https://www.dwi-texas.com/resources/dwi-cost/.
  4. Goins, Liesa. “Avoiding Hangovers: Mixed Drink Tips, Pacing With Water, and More.” WebMD, 17 March 2010, https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/how-to-hold-your-liquor.

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Wayne C. Hahne,

English graduate and Call-On-Doc’s medical resource guide, Wayne C. Hahne is an experienced and passionate medical education content expert. Through diligent research, provider interviews and utilizing the industry's leading resources for wellness information, it is Mr. Hahne’s personal mission to educate the general public on medical conditions with in-depth and easy-to-understand written guides.

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