With summer just around the corner, it’s important to encourage responsible celebrations and moderation this summer, says McIntosh County Coalition Prevention Specialist Scott Welch with Neighbors Building Neighborhoods.
“Whether people are going to the lake or hosting a party, those who choose to consume alcohol, should do so in moderation,” Welch warns.
He shares simple tips to help hosts shine while inspiring their guests to enjoy responsibly, if they choose to drink; while respecting those who do not.
1. Food. Always greet guests with a good spread of food! Be sure to always provide plenty of food options for people – from a complete meal to vegetable sticks and dip to popcorn and chips. Food is essential to slowdown alcohol absorption for those who choose to drink and it’s a great way to show your warm hospitality.
2. Variety is key. Have plenty of water and a range of beverages including soft drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails.
3. Avoid topping off drinks. While you may want to make sure your guests’ glasses are full, it makes it difficult to keep track of how many standard drinks people have had! So be sure to help guests track how many drinks they’ve consumed, so they can make better choices. In the U.S. a standard drink is defined as a 5 fl oz glass of wine (12% ABV), a 12 fl oz glass of beer (5 % abv), or a 1.5 fl oz pour of spirits (40% ABV).
It takes, on average, about one hour for the liver to process one standard drink, whether its beer, wine or spirits. The effect of alcohol is determined by how much people drink, not what they drink. Remember, men and women process alcohol differently, so keep that in mind when thinking of a potential “last call”.
Mix it up.
Plan some fun activities that don’t revolve around drinking alcohol. For example, have fun playing board games, or charades with your group of friends, or enjoying a barbecue and marshmallow roasting!
Plan ahead to get guests home safely! Be sure there are designated drivers or organize a taxi / ride share. Remember, there is no excuse to drive impaired and Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving!
With these six tips in mind, you’ll be sure to host a summer gathering that will be memorable for all the right reasons! By weaving moderation into celebrations, we help ensure that people have a good time and enjoy themselves without overdoing it.
Learn more interesting facts about alcohol and its effects on the body at www. niaaa.nih.gov