New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and everyone likes to celebrate and drink safe with family members and friends as they ring in the New Year. One of the most common ways people want to celebrate is to enjoy an adult beverage or two to unwind from the most recent year. At the same time, there are always risks that come along with alcoholic beverages. Therefore, it is essential for everyone planning on drinking this New Year’s Eve to make sure they have an action plan to stay safe and healthy as they celebrate.
A Primer: Statistics on Drinking During the Holidays and on New Year’s Eve
Historically, New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. The reality is that binge drinking always spikes on New Year’s Eve. Numerous outlets, including TIME Magazine, have labeled New Year’s Eve as a risky holiday due to the massive consumption of alcohol. Therefore, everyone needs to understand the dangers of drinking, particularly during the holidays.
First, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that about one in every six Americans binge drinks at least four times per month. On average, each of these drinking sessions includes at least eight drinks. Even though binge drinking is notorious for being a problem among teenagers and young adults, it is also a significant risk among people over the age of 65. Furthermore, adults who are over the age of 65 actually binge drink more often than young adults. Even though men still binge drink more often than women, binge drinking among women is rising.
Statistics that have been published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that one single New Year’s Day holiday represented a particularly deadly year. Emergency room visits and hospital admissions for issues related to alcohol, including alcohol poisoning, went up more than 250 percent. Even though this only represents a single day, this is a microcosm of what happens annually on New Year’s Eve.
Hospitals all over the country consistently record a spike in emergency room visits and hospital admissions related to alcohol. For example, the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) reports that the number of ER visits due to alcohol poisoning around the holidays spikes more than 50 percent annually. New York City also consistently says that emergency room visits related to alcohol double on New Year’s Day when compared to the rest of the year. Even though many of these visits are due to drunk driving, some people are also admitted due to alcohol poisoning.
These are just a few of the most important statistics that people need to know about drinking on New Year’s Eve. Even though alcoholic beverages are a common way for people to unwind and ring in the New Year, it is also vital for everyone to do so safely. Nobody should ever drink and drive. Furthermore, everyone needs to make sure that they know their alcohol tolerance, as alcohol poisoning can be deadly. The effects that alcohol has on the body can lead to long-term consequences.
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How Drinking Affects You: Physically and Psychologically
Everyone must understand what the effects of alcohol are on the body to learn best how to drink safe. One of the most common questions people have is how long it takes for alcohol to affect someone after drinking. Several factors are going to impact the speed with which alcohol impacts the body. Some of the most important factors to note include:
- Some people have a higher alcohol tolerance than others. Those who drink regularly may develop a tolerance to the impacts of alcohol. This means that it might take longer for alcohol to affect their systems. Furthermore, this might also mean that it takes more drinks for someone to feel the same effects. Simultaneously, those who drink regularly may not even realize when they are drunk, which makes it particularly difficult to drink safe.
- It is also crucial for people to understand the impact that an empty stomach has on alcohol consumption. If someone is eating while drinking a beer, a cocktail, or a glass of wine, some of the alcohol could be absorbed by the meal, meaning that it takes longer for alcohol to take effect. On the other hand, someone might feel the impact of a single drink within a few minutes if they drink on an empty stomach. One research study even showed that the concentration of alcohol in the body might not even reach a quarter of what it does on an empty stomach if consumed during a meal. Therefore, it is a good idea for everyone to make sure they avoid drinking on an empty stomach on New Year’s Eve.
- Finally, the consumption of medications with alcohol could also affect the time it takes for alcohol to impact the body. For example, those who are using recreational drugs at the same time they are drinking alcohol could end up feeling a wide variety of effects in a much shorter period. Everyone must avoid recreational drugs when they want to drink safe. Furthermore, anyone taking prescription medications should be sure to avoid alcohol, as the two could lead to potentially serious effects.
Next, it is also important to address something called alcohol poisoning when trying to drink safe. Alcohol poisoning is different from being drunk. When someone is drunk, they often have slowed reflexes, feel tired, and experience impaired judgment and inhibition. The symptoms of alcohol poisoning are a bit different. Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
- Delirium: Confusion is one of the most common symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Individuals who suffer from alcohol poisoning might not know who they are, where they are, or when they are.
- Vomiting: Vomiting is a hallmark symptom of alcohol poisoning. This is the body trying to get rid of toxic, foreign substances that are doing it harm.
- Breathing Patterns: Individuals who suffer from alcohol poisoning suffer from reduced, irregular, or slow breathing patterns. This is particularly dangerous, as it can reduce the body’s oxygen levels.
- Hypothermia: Individuals who suffer from alcohol poisoning often suffer from a low body temperature. They might also be actively shivering.
- Skin Changes: People who suffer from alcohol poisoning might also have changes in their skin. Their skin might appear cold, clammy, or even blue.
- Loss of Consciousness: Finally, those with severe alcohol poisoning might even pass out completely. It is not unusual for them to fall asleep, pass out, or become completely unconscious.
Anyone who suffers from alcohol poisoning has to go to the emergency room immediately. According to research studies, alcohol poisoning is mainly a clinical diagnosis. Even though it can be confirmed by measuring someone’s blood alcohol concentration, the constellation of symptoms above is enough to start treatment. Usually, doctors will administer supportive care to avoid secondary complications, such as liver failure. The main danger of toxic alcohol poisoning has to do with the development of other substances of the metabolic byproducts, such as formic acid and formaldehyde. One of the most significant possible complications of alcohol poisoning is optic nerve damage, potentially leading to irreversible blindness.
Post-New Year’s Eve Party Recovery Plan
There’s nothing wrong with someone enjoying a few adult beverages when they go to a New Year’s Eve party as long as they drink safe. At the same time, everyone needs to make sure they do their best to avoid a hangover. A hangover is usually marked by a classic, traditional headache when they wake up in the morning. Some people say that they feel like there is a vice that is squeezing the head. Other people might feel like there is a pounding, throbbing sensation inside of their skull. A hangover results from alcohol’s effects on the brain, mainly through dehydration. Research studies also indicate that electrolyte imbalances and low blood sugar levels are also contributing factors. When the brain becomes dehydrated, a hangover results.
There are a few ways that people can drink safe to avoid a hangover. Some of the top strategies include:
- When possible, try to limit drinks at a New Year’s Eve party to fewer than one drink per hour. Remember that this should be limited to one standard drink, not a single drink with five or six shots in it.
- Try to stop drinking for two to three hours before going to bed. Give the body a chance to process the alcohol that has been consumed before falling asleep.
- Drink plenty of water during the party. This doesn’t mean drinking water before going to bed but also throughout the party. Try to drink one cup of water for every adult drink consumed. Then, try to drink a few glasses of water before going to bed.
Furthermore, when someone gets up in the morning, there are other ways that a hangover can be addressed. Some of the top strategies that people can use to treat a hangover include:
- Eat Breakfast: It is critical to eat breakfast. Ideally, include complex carbohydrates such as hash browns, crackers, or toast. This is a great way to increase the body’s blood sugar levels, which can be a contributing factor to hangovers and reduce nausea.
- Drink Something: Just as it is essential to drink water before going to bed, it is also important to drink something in the morning. Water, broth, and juice are great ways to reduce dehydration. Of course, stay away from alcohol. Some people think drinking is a way to address a hangover. This will only make it worse.
- Take Supplements: There are plenty of over-the-counter products that can help someone deal with a hangover. For example, some people like to take antacids to settle their stomach, particularly if they are feeling nauseous. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help people who are feeling sore. Even though some people like to take Tylenol or acetaminophen, remember that the liver is busy trying to metabolize alcohol. Do not add more work for the liver by taking Tylenol. Therefore, try to pick something else.
- Rest: It is essential to rest. There is nothing wrong with sleeping in following a New Year’s Eve party, as long as the schedule is open. Take a little while and give the body a chance to recover. Think about watching a TV show, reading a book, or something relaxing in bed.
- Exercise: After eating a healthy breakfast and giving the body a chance to wake up, try to get some exercise. This will ramp up the body’s metabolic rate, increasing the rate at which it clears alcohol from the system. Going for a jog, stepping on the elliptical machine, or going for a swim in the pool are some great ways to help the body recover.
Finally, the most important thing is that people should be patient. It will take the body a while to recover from a night of partying, even when someone is responsible while drinking the night before. Therefore, try to take it easy and give the body time to do what it does naturally.
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What Are the Most Common Mistakes While Drinking on New Year’s Eve?
On New Year’s Eve, there are some common mistakes that people make while they are drinking. Everyone must think about these mistakes ahead of time so they can make sure they avoid them and drink safe. Some of the most common mistakes that people make include:
- Drinking on an Empty Stomach: The first mistake people make is grabbing a drink as soon as they walk in the room. First, many people arrive at a party already having had a few drinks. Therefore, they might already feel a bit tipsy. When they reach for another drink ahead of time, they are commonly drinking on an empty stomach. Instead, people should try to ease into the party to drink safe. Most New Year’s Eve parties have food at them. Therefore, put something in the stomach before drinking.
- Drinking Beer Before Switching To Liquor: Many people start drinking beer before they switch to liquor instead. Sure, it is possible that someone could go from beer to liquor without having any issues; however, there is a reason why this is such a big problem. When someone drinks beer, they usually get accustomed to the taste of alcohol. Therefore, when they switch to liquor, they might not tell just how strong a drink is. As a result, someone can lose control of their drinking when they switch to liquor, which already has a much higher alcohol content. Everyone has to keep a close watch on just how many drinks they are having.
- Not Keeping an Eye on Their Drink: One of the most common ways alcohol at parties starts to go wrong is if someone does not keep a close eye on their drinks. Everyone needs to make sure they keep an eye on their drink at all times to drink safe. If they are not making their drink, they should watch the bartender make it. Then, once they put a glass in their hand, they should not let it out of their sight. That way, everyone can stay safe and make sure no one puts something in their drink, and they know just how strong it is.
- Not Having a Plan To Get Home: Finally, one of the biggest drinking mistakes people make on New Year’s Eve is not having a plan to get home. Everyone must make sure that they have a plan in advance regarding how they will get home. Perhaps they have a designated driver. Maybe they are going to use a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. The last thing anyone should do is drink and drive. If someone has a plan for transportation out of time, this significantly reduces that risk.
These are a few of the most common mistakes that people make when trying to drink safe on New Year’s Eve. Everyone must make sure that they avoid these common mistakes so that they can have fun and stay safe.
The Impacts of Alcohol on Weight Loss Goals
For those who are trying to lose weight, alcohol can be a big issue. The reality is that even though most alcoholic beverages are smaller in overall volume when compared to non-alcoholic beverages, they can still pack on the calories. Therefore, alcohol can significantly derail someone’s weight loss goals. Some of the key points that people should keep in mind when it comes to alcohol and weight loss goals include:
- Beer: Even though there are plenty of light beer options available, they are still relatively high in their caloric content. Even though microbrew beers, such as those from a brewery, often taste much better, they have even more calories. Therefore, everyone must limit the amount of beer they drink if they are trying to lose weight.
- Triple Sec: Triple Sec is a common ingredient in a wide variety of alcoholic cocktails. At the same time, it also contains a surprising number of calories. A single shot of triple sec contains almost 11 grams of sugar. It also includes over 100 calories, so try to limit the intake of this liquor.
- Creme de Menthe: Another common ingredient in a wide variety of cocktails is Creme de Menthe. A single shot of this potent liquor also clocks in with more than 8 grams of sugar and 74 calories.
These are just a few of the most prominent examples of alcohol that packs a punch when it comes to calories. In addition to the calories, alcohol has other impacts on the body as well. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at the effects that alcohol can have on someone’s weight loss goals. A few examples include:
- Empty Calories: First, alcohol is empty calories. Even though alcoholic drinks contain many calories, they do not cause someone to feel full because they are relatively low in volume and do not fill up the stomach. Therefore, someone can fill up on alcohol before enjoying a giant meal. Then, all of these extra calories simply add up to extra pounds.
- Alcohol Is Burned First for Energy: Next, everyone needs to understand that alcohol is burned before other substances in the body for energy. Because research studies show that the body consumes alcohol first for energy, the body will not consume carbohydrates or lipids that come from fat. Therefore, this makes it hard for someone to lose weight.
- Alcohol Impacts Food Choices: When people think about the dangers of alcohol, they often think about drinking and driving. Even though this is a severe issue, alcohol also impacts judgment calls when it comes to food. It is not unusual for someone to feel hungry when they start drinking. There are even research studies that support this, showing that alcohol can trigger hunger signals in the brain, causing someone to eat more food. Of course, this leads to weight gain.
These are just a few of the most significant ways that alcohol can dramatically derail someone’s weight loss goals. Everyone must make sure they are conscious of how alcohol can potentially impact their diet and exercise routine. This includes thinking about the caloric content of alcoholic drinks and the overall impact it has on their body.
The Importance of Situational Awareness to Drink Safe
When people go out for New Year’s Eve parties, particularly when they involve drinking, it is normal for people to let their guard down slightly. Even though there is nothing wrong with letting loose a little bit, people need to stay aware and drink safe. People can follow a few strategies to make sure they are safe while they are out partying. Some of the top methods include:
- Drink safe and never drink alone. This is where disasters happen. Instead, try to go out in groups. Make sure there is a firm plan in place so that everyone gets home safely.
- Try to decide on the number of drinks that people are going to consume ahead of time. Then, everyone should hold each other accountable and stick to this plan.
- A good rule of thumb to drink safe is that nobody should ever have more than one standard drink per hour. A standard drink is a 12-ounce beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail with a single shot in it.
- Those who are having trouble sticking to this limit should always make sure they have a glass in their hand. That way, nobody will ever offer them a drink. Try to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to keep a drink in hand at all times, even if there is no alcohol in it.
Everyone must make sure they are safe when they are drinking on New Year’s Eve. Thinking about these strategies ahead of time can help people avoid making mistakes. Of course, make sure there is always a designated driver. Remember that there are rideshare services available as well to make sure that people can get home safely.
How Do I Know How to Drink Safe: Alcohol Tolerance
One of the most common questions that people have about how to drink safe is how they can determine their alcohol tolerance. Unfortunately, there is no way that someone can know exactly what their “alcohol tolerance” is. The reality is that someone’s alcohol tolerance is going to wax and wane throughout their life and could even change from evening to evening. Even though studies show that people can develop a tolerance to alcohol over time, meaning that people’s blood alcohol concentration might be lower even if they consume a higher number of beverages, people still need to make sure they understand the factors that could impact someone’s alcohol tolerance.
Some of the factors that could play a role in someone’s overall alcohol tolerance include:
- Gender: Alcohol dissolves in the water of the bloodstream, not the fat. Because women have more fat and less body water, they tend to feel the effects faster.
- Muscle Mass: Individuals who have more muscle also have more body water. Therefore, their alcohol concentration is going to rise slower.
- Medications: Certain medications can “monopolize” the body’s liver enzymes, causing it to break down alcohol more slowly. Therefore, individuals taking medications, such as birth control pills, might have a lower alcohol tolerance than they would otherwise.
- Diet: Finally, when someone last ate will impact blood alcohol concentration and alcohol tolerance. If someone drinks on an empty stomach, the alcohol will pass through someone’s body quicker. This could cause someone to feel the effects faster. Drinking on an empty stomach will reduce someone’s alcohol tolerance.
These are just a few of the most critical factors that will impact someone’s alcohol tolerance. Everyone must make sure they know their limits when they are headed to a New Year’s Eve party. This is a critical part of making sure that everyone remains safe while celebrating the start of 2021.
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A Healthier Look at Classic Cocktails
Many people love to drink safe cocktails when they go to a New Year’s Eve party. Unfortunately, these cocktails can also have many calories, causing someone to have trouble sticking to their dietary plan. A few examples of classic cocktails that people like to drink that have a high number of calories include:
- The Long Island Iced Tea: A typical Long Island Iced Tea contains close to 800 calories and more than 40 grams of carbohydrates. Its ingredients include one part vodka, one part rum, one part tequila, one part triple sec, one part gin, and 1.5 parts sweet and sour mix with a splash of coke. The coke, combined with the numerous shots, lead to an unhealthy but popular cocktail.
- A Margarita: A margarita is one of the most popular cocktails; however, with close to 750 calories and more than 50 carbs, this is not a healthy cocktail, particularly if the limeade is a premix. Usually, a margarita has four ounces of tequila, four ounces of limeade, and some triple sec.
- The White Russian: With more than 400 calories and greater than 25 grams of carbs (depending on the exact vodka and liqueur used), this is one fattening cocktail for its size. The recipe is 2 ounces of vodka, 1.5 ounces of a coffee liqueur, and 1.5 ounces of heavy cream.
The good news is that there are healthy drink options that people can try as well. Some examples of healthy drink recipes that people can consume that do not contain an overwhelming number of calories include:
- Rum and Diet Coke: First on the healthy drinks list, simply go with a shot of rum and diet coke instead of a Long Island Iced Tea. Avoid the calories from the coke and all of the cordials in the Long Island Iced Tea. Add a lime slice for an added twist on the rum and diet!
- Tequila and Lime: One of the most popular healthy drink ideas that could act as a margarita alternative, reach for two ounces of tequila and a splash of lime juice. An even better option could be tequila mixed with some lime-flavored seltzer water. The taste will be similar, but the calories will be significantly reduced.
- Vodka Soda: For those looking for a healthy drink with vodka that can act as a healthier alternative to the White Russian, go with a vodka soda instead. Avoid the coffee liqueur and heavy cream (which is where the carbs and calories come from), and simply mix two ounces of vodka with a few ounces of club soda. Top it with a squeeze of lemon and a lemon wedge for a boost of flavor. Reach for the healthy drink mixers instead.
Anyone trying to stick to their diet while also enjoying a few adult beverages at a New Year’s Eve party should consider these healthy drink mixes when it comes to cocktail recipes. Then, everyone can choose a healthy drink to lose weight. Drink healthy instead!
If I Don’t Want To Drink, Can I Still Go To New Year’s Eve Parties?
When people think about New Year’s Eve parties, they often think about many people drinking, dancing, and singing the night away. Therefore, many people wonder if they can still go to New Year’s Eve parties, even if they are not planning on drinking. The answer is, of course! When it comes to New Year’s Eve parties without drinking, there are plenty of ways that people can still have fun! Some of the key points to keep in mind include:
- Tp Drink Safe Keep a Drink in Hand: When someone shows up at a New Year’s Eve party, one of the first things people often encounter is someone offering them a drink. To avoid being “forced” to take an alcoholic beverage, always keep a drink in hand. This will prevent the awkwardness of continually having to explain that you are not drinking.
- Offer To Be a Designated Driver: If you feel particularly generous, you might even want to consider offering to be a designated driver. This will immediately give you something to do while also making sure that other people drink safe!
- Dance the Night Away: Many people believe that alcohol is a “lubricant” for the dance floor; however, this does not have to be the case! There are plenty of ways that you can enjoy New Year’s Eve dancing without requiring the addition of alcohol. Why not think about trying to have a dance contest at the party?
- Offer To Be a Sober Companion: The chances are that someone at the party is trying to recover from battling alcohol addiction. Offer to be a sober companion. Be someone who can entertain that individual while also making sure they don’t slip.
You certainly do not have to drink to enjoy a New Year’s Eve party. Why not put a few of these ideas to use? That way, you can enjoy New Year’s Eve in your way!
What Type of Action Plan Can I Make to Drink Safe on New Year’s Eve?
When it comes to a New Year’s Eve party, it is critical to make sure that you have an action plan in place. New Year’s Eve’s goal is to ring in the New Year, and nobody wants to get sick or injured. Some of the most important elements of your New Year’s Eve action plan should include:
- Make a Drink Safe Plan for the Celebration: You need to make sure that you know where you are going, what you are drinking, who you are going with, and how you will get there. Make sure that everyone is accounted for and that you know who will be at the party. That way, you will know if this is a party that you are going to enjoy.
- Remember Your Limits: Plan how many drinks you are going to consume ahead of time. Then, hold each other accountable and stick to this plan. Do not get tempted to drink more than you should. As a rule of thumb, think about alternating an alcoholic drink and a non-alcoholic drink.
- Always Watch Your Step: Countless injuries occur on New Year’s Eve purely because people aren’t watching where they are going. Stairs, inclines, and curbs can cause people to twist an ankle. Make sure that you and your friends are watching out for one another.
- Do Not Drink and Drive: Never drink and drive. On New Year’s Eve, drinking and driving is a common cause of motor vehicle accidents, particularly ones that result in fatalities. Try to have a designated driver instead. Or, ask for an Uber and Lyft ride. Always make sure that you can get home safely.
Make sure that your action plan includes all of these elements. That way, you, your family, and your friends can enjoy New Year’s Eve safely.
Drink Safe This New Year’s Eve
These are just a few essential tips that everyone should follow when drinking on New Year’s Eve. Even though there is nothing wrong with enjoying an adult beverage (as long as someone is of age), it is still important to understand the risks of alcoholic drinks and have an action plan to stay safe. That way, everyone can relax, unwind, and ring in 2021 in a fun and healthy way.
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