MDHB Health Promotion Adviser Martin Macmaster is urging people to encourage their friends and family who are drinking alcohol to do so in moderation, and not put pressure on others to drink alcohol if they don’t want to.
“There’s all sorts of reasons people may be taking it easy. They might be thinking of their health, their head or their commitments. Or perhaps they’re pregnant. We should always support people, but especially pregnant women as not drinking is the safest for unborn children,” says Mr Macmaster.
With a little thought and some forward planning, individuals can look after themselves, their friends and their families. Taking it easy on the alcohol can make a huge difference to how you feel and function the following day, plus it helps with avoiding expensive, embarrassing or dangerous problems on the night. Eating first, drinking water between alcoholic drinks or drinking low-alcohol beverages can all help in staying in the good times and avoiding those lost nights.
If you’re hosting drinks at work or at home, make sure there’s plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks available and think about how people are getting home. Encourage drivers to leave their cars behind and take taxis or organise sober drivers.
If there are young people at your place, remember it’s only legal to supply them with alcohol if you do it responsibly, and with their parent or guardian’s consent.
If you find it hard to stop drinking or to cut back, talk to someone you trust or call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797.