Tuesday, March 17, 2015
While St. George’s Day, St. David’s Day and St. Andrew’s Day don’t see much in the way of celebration, St. Patrick is the patron saint which gives much of the UK, and indeed the world, an excuse to party.
Regardless of whether they have Irish heritage or not, people across the globe make a point of celebrating on the 17th March. Of course it’s no secret that it’s St. Patrick’s Day’s association with alcohol that is the cause of its universal appeal.
However, while the drinks are flowing and the parties are in full swing, it is important to remember that drinking sensibly should always be your key consideration. To do this, be sure to think about the following.
Understand Your Drinking
Understand how much you are drinking. After a few drinks, it can be easy to lose count of just how many drinks you’ve had. To stop this becoming an issue, look to pace yourself. Slow down your drinking, don’t rush drinks and consider drinking water or having a non-alcoholic drink every other round.
Of course, you should also understand what you are drinking. As celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day present nights with a “theme”, you will often find that there are all kinds of weird and wonderful themed drinks available for you to sample as you move from bar to bar. If you are indulging in such cocktails, understand what you are drinking. One example of this is the combination of alcohol and energy drinks. Despite being widely available, cocktails containing alcohol and energy drinks can be a dangerous combination. Energy drinks can mask the effects of alcohol and make you feel more awake which will often lead to you drinking more than you would usually. It’s important to bear this in mind when choosing from the vast array of cocktails available.
Know Your Limits
Importantly you should also know your limits. Knowing when to say enough is enough is a great skill when it comes to drinking. While you may feel you are missing out on the night, you will not only thank yourself in the morning when your hangover is less severe, for your health’s sake you will thank yourself in the future too.
Consider Alcohol-Free Alternatives
You might want to avoid alcohol completely on St. Patrick’s Day, and if so, that’s not a problem. There are all kinds of Irish-themed “mocktails” you can indulge in and not one of them contain alcohol. “Shamrock shakes”, Shillelagh mocktails, Irish rose and green lemonade are just a few of these.
Above anything else you should always consider the safety of you and those around you if you are drinking. While the focus will be on fun come St. Patrick’s Day, don’t let the good times turn bad as not even the luck o’ the Irish will be enough to help you.
Staying safe means not mixing your drinks, eating before you start drinking, planning how you are going to get home before you go out and considering the effects drinking will have on you the next day.
Understanding how drinking affects you the following day should always be a key consideration. People will often drink the night before without thinking about the next day.
Research from the road safety charity Brake between 2012-2014, found that one in five drivers admitted to driving the morning after they had drank a lot the night before. In general, alcohol is removed from the blood at the rate of about one unit an hour but this is no hard and fast rule. The rate at which alcohol is removed from the body varies from person to person; with how much food you’ve eaten; the state of your liver and your metabolism all playing a role. Because of this if you’ve been drinking heavily, it’s probably best to refrain from driving at all the next day. Something definitely worth considering given St. Patrick’s Day falls in the middle of the working week this year.
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