There is no doubt that a few drinks can turn into a few too many. Whatever your friends do, you don’t need to overdo the beer. You can enjoy a few drinks without getting completely wasted by following these tips.
Set your limits
Decide how many drinks you’ll have before you start drinking, then stick to it. There’s a bunch of clever scientists who say we shouldn’t drink more than four alcoholic drinks a day. Each person has a different tolerance, so pick a number that works for you.
You might want to think about how expensive drinks are. Make a sober and sensible decision about how much you can afford before you go out.
Alcoholic drinks don’t all contain the same amount of alcohol. Here is what a ‘standard drink’ looks like for different types of drinks.
Avoid drinking too quickly
You can avoid getting drunk by spacing out your drinks. Before you have another drink, wait a certain amount of time (e.g. an hour), and make sure it has passed before you order another one.
You just got a delish craft beer, right? By drinking it slowly, you will be able to savour it more. Consequently, you’ll have more fun and get more value for your money. Additionally, drinking water or soft drinks between booze (and drinking the alcoholic ones slowly) can help.
Try saying no
You may be tempted to give into peer pressure, but if you’ve had enough, simply tell someone ‘No, thanks’ when they offer to buy you a drink. It’s okay to tell them you’re good for now, and then change the subject. Keeping track of your drinking is more important than keeping up with others.
The fear of being ridiculed for not drinking is understandable, but it doesn’t happen often. The good friends won’t stop hanging out with you just because you don’t drink as fast as they do.
Avoid drinking rounds and shots
While there’s nothing wrong with buying your friends a drink, if you’re with a group of seven, it can quickly turn into a full-on, expensive drinking session. This may derail your efforts to avoid getting drunk as well as break your bank account.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to stick with drinks you can sip instead of shots, since you can space them out better. Tell your friends you don’t want a shot, or simply disappear when they’re heading to the bar.
Water and food are your friends
For every alcoholic drink, have a glass of water or a soft drink (no one needs to know it’s not alcoholic). It is also important to eat when you drink. It helps to slow the effects of the alcohol and is (hopefully) also delicious.
Focus on other things
Try to join in an activity while you’re drinking, such as playing pool. Remember that if you’re in a bad mood already, drinking alcohol won’t help. Try doing something else that’s relaxing, or talk to someone about what’s on your mind.
Have a plan B
Get a mate to help keep track of your drinking and remind you to slow down and not do stupid stuff. If that fails, that mate can help look after you if you drink too much.
Before you start drinking, make a plan for where you’ll sleep that night. Put money aside for a taxi or Uber in case you need to get home quickly.
Have a good time
You can still have a really good time even if you’re not drinking much. Focus on the people you’re chatting with and the conversation you’re having (or the dancing you’re doing). One of the best parts of not getting drunk is that you’re less likely to have regrets the next morning. Plus, there’s less chance of a hangover, which is always a win!
If you are worried you’ve been drinking too much, our short video will give you some handy tips on cutting down safely.