Whether you’re 21 or 51, you may find yourself in a dangerous drinking predicament. Drunk driving isn’t the only byproduct of a night-gone-wrong. You can become ill, embarrass yourself or your loved ones, or hurt your reputation. Even worse, with your defenses down you could engage in some sort of criminal behavior, such as destruction of property, theft, or assault.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
For those struggling with addiction, sobriety may be the only answer. But if you’re an occasional over-drinker who no longer wants to wake up with a pounding headache and a few regrets, you could benefit from a few tips on drinking responsibly.
A BETTER WAY TO DRINK
Scenarios that lead to over-consumption can happen to the best of us. Our excitement (or even nervousness) about an event can color our ability to control our drinking, leading to trouble.
Alcohol affects everyone differently, and knowing your limit is key to a safe evening of fun. According to the B.R.A.D.21 site, when your blood alcohol level ranges from .02 g to .08 g, you usually experience a shift in mood and your ability to interpret what you’re seeing and hearing. This generally occurs sooner for women than men and can be dangerous in many ways. In fact, one report found that 8% of all ER visits each year for illness or injuries are associated with alcohol.
You don’t have to be a victim of the worst-case scenario. A party is a reason to celebrate, and when you know how to drink responsibly, you won’t miss any of it. We’ve scoured the web for tips on best practices for drinking in any situation, the legal issues surrounding alcohol, and top ways to prevent accidents.
That's why we searched the web high and low for the BEST in resources for drinking responsibly. Here's what we found:
1. Choose Responsibility - This nonprofit sprung out from the thorough research written for "The Effects of the 21 Year Old Drinking Age: A White Paper" in 2007. The blog follows changes to the laws governing drinking, citing this reason: “Current drinking laws infantilize young adults. We should not be surprised, then, by infantile behavior from otherwise responsible adults.” The writers also share stats on alcohol-related topics; for example, did you know that more than 90% of alcohol consumed by under-agers happens during binges? You can even read about how alcohol affects brain function.
2. The Bacchus Network - This site educates college students on making wise choices while drinking. They focus education efforts during two week-long campaigns, including one before Spring Break. One area of education covers how drinking affects sexual behavior. Because drinking can lower inhibitions, college-aged young adults are more likely to put themselves at risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases and other infections.
3. Washington State University - Like many college campuses, WASU offers online information on alcohol education programs, various alcohol edutation material, and even a parent primer. Because it’s impossible to control what your child will be exposed to as they venture onto campus, parents should be educated about what’s going on these days, such as the rate of prescription drug abuse or find out more about various campaigns they have on campus like Goodnight Cougs (supports healthy sleep patterns).
4. Hello Sunday Morning - This international site is dedicated to changing “the world’s relationship with alcohol.” They're not against alcohol, but they do support everyday people to take a break from alcohol and see what life is like without the hangover. Besides being informative, this site has intriguing and interesting blog posts from real people struggling with addiction or just aiming to be more responsible drinkers and wish to share their story.
5. College Drinking Prevention - Here you’ll find a frightening snapshot of the risk of drinking in college. For example, nearly 700,000 college students have been the victim of assault by someone who has been drinking. And about 11% of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol. Be ahead of the curve and learn how to prevent these things from happening in your college career. Read on to find tips to help make wise choices.
6. Straight Up Ventura County - Sometimes alcohol is introduced to teenagers, so it's just as important to reach to high schoolers about the dangers of drinking irresponsibly. This website is all about drinking prevention for youth. Before these emerging young adults make it to college, they have to fight the alcohol battle in high school. The site features games, volunteer opportunities, and blog posts from student perspectives.
7. The Healthy Drinker - This blog promotes smart drinking and also features interesting history on the uses of alcohol. In a recent post on 10 healthy drinking tips, the author promotes clear liquor over wine or whiskey (easier on the body), taking drinking breaks, and avoiding sugary mixers while drinking.
8. My Sober Drivers - This site that offers discounted driving service home after a night on the town in the San Francisco Bay area. This volunteer-run service will take you home in your own car, with another volunteer following behind. It’s a great alternative to dangerous driving, or becoming one of the 1.5 million drivers arrested in any given year for driving while under the influence.
9. Drinking and Driving - This is a great place to discover what’s happening with drunk driving in your state, as national arrest statistics are posted on the home page. And if you or someone you know is a frequent underage drinker, you won’t want to miss the Truth About Blood Alcohol Content lesson.
10. Alcohol Problems and Solutions - Check out this site for additional facts and tips about preventing drink driving. Did you know that designated drivers have likely saved more than 50,000 lives annually? The site also tells how to report a suspected drunk driver and what signs to watch for.
11. Century Council - This website features a host of initiatives that are designed to ward off the effects of unhealthy habits, including B4Udrink, a tool to help estimate blood alcohol concentration.
These sites and blog posts can help guide you on your next adventure – out with friends at the social event of the year or on your way to drop off your college freshman. You always have the option of making a smart decision if you are armed with the facts.