8 Ways To Stay Sober at Social Events, Part 2

Part 1 was all about how to preparty plan to avoid having drunken guests:  http://www.advancedetiquette.com/2010/08/prevent-drunken-guests-at-parties/

One of the worst things a host or guest can do at an event is to drink too much. In addition to my 8 tips, I’ve added the definition of what it means to be a drunk, and how to tell if you or someone you know may be an alcoholic and how to help the person.

1.  Don’t drink if it makes the difference between success and failure. I enjoy drinking alcohol in moderation, so I am not talking about giving it up all together. Rather, practice abstinence when the risk is too high. For example, if you have a major client meeting in the morning, why chance drinking the night before? Or if you have a major presentation to make in the afternoon, why have a drink at lunch?

It’s best to have an overall “no drinking policy” for business lunches. Make an exception for a special celebratory situation where one glass of wine might be allowed

2.  Know your limit.  Maintaining your own self-control is the key to keeping yourself from becoming drunk. The goal is always to keep your blood alcohol content (BAC) below the legal limit and to be able to drive safely, not to mention avoiding embarrassing behavior at events.

One way to learn your own constitution is to keep a drinking diary for at least one to three months, depending on how often you drink.  Write down each time you have a drink, listing when, where, how much you drank, and the results.  Make note of the patterns shown and what you must do to achieve the best results every time you drink, such as:

Date     # of drinks     Type of drinks     Place consumed/type of event     Results

If you drink at home, add the days of the week to the journal, so you can see how often you are drinking at home and the effects.

3.  Eat plenty of food. Eating solid food is the best way to soak up alcohol in your stomach. It slows the rate of alcohol absorption in your body. Throughout the event, snack and munch on what’s available while drinking.  High protein and high fat foods like cheese are especially good at keeping your blood alcohol content low. Avoid items with lots of salt—like salted nuts—as they will dehydrate you.

4.  Keep yourself hydrated.  Alcohol is a dehydrator, so always drink one or two glasses of water, juice or other non‑alcoholic beverages between each alcoholic drink to keep properly hydrated. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon to mimic an alcoholic beverage to stay more social. Drinks that work particularly well are:

— Tomato juice with a squeeze of lime and celery stick
— Lemonade over ice
— Iced tea
— Water with ice cubes
— Club soda with orange juice
— Tonic water with a twist or wedge of lime, and
— Either orange juice or 7‑Up with grenadine.

My favorites are grapefruit juice or plain water with lime, over ice.

5.  Sip your drink slowly.  It’s easy to feel nervous at social events, and you might end up guzzling your drink instead of sipping. Pay attention. Enjoy the taste rather than the effect.

6.  Never drink on an empty stomach.  Make a point to eat before attending any event where alcohol is served. Even at the last minute, while driving to the event, make a pit stop somewhere to get a fast sandwich. That’s better than showing up on an empty stomach, where the alcohol takes effect faster. Upon arrival, make the buffet table your first stop, before having a drink.

7.  Use the one-drink-per-hour guideline:  Especially at business related events, where the focus should be on mingling, meeting and greeting, have only one drink per hour, or a at most two drinks when accompanied with lots of food.

8.  “Just say no.” Learn to say “no” when you don’t want a drink. In most instances you don’t have to take a drink just because it has been offered. If it would be considered impolite to refuse, take the drink, but then quietly and discreetly place it on a table and walk away. Saying “no” becomes easier the more you practice it. Here are a few phrases to keep in mind:

— No thanks, I don’t need or want any more
— Thanks, but I must be alert tomorrow for an early meeting with our biggest client
— Or simply say, “No, thank you.”

If people keep trying to force drinks on you, I would avoid them in the future. Also avoid hanging around people who drink more than you and the places and situations that encourage this kind of behavior.

BONUSES:
1.  MISPERCEPTION AND MYTH: Beware of drinking coffee to help sober up.  A blog posted two years ago by “MackTheKnife” submitted an interesting observation:  “Coffee can make some people feel more awake, but it is a common misconception that giving a drunk person coffee will make them sober.  In fact, coffee is probably one of the worst things that a drunk person can drink. Not only will it make them feel more awake (which might encourage them to do things they shouldn’t – like drive) it will probably make their hangover worse.  Alcohol causes the body to dehydrate, and that contributes to the headache and bad feeling of  a hangover. Coffee is a diuretic (ie it stimulates the body to get rid of liquids) so it should be avoided if you want to keep your hangover to a minimum.”  I also read some place that although you feel alert, your reflex time is still dimished due to the alcohol.  Conclusion:  You truly aren’t in a better position by drinking coffee.  My opinion is to avoid and forget drinking coffee as  a remedy.

2.  DEFINITION OF A DRUNK. When a person is called a drunk it implies the person suffers from alcoholism. It means the person overindulges and becomes inebriated on a regular basis.  Often the person doesn’t even know he or she is a drunk, which also means they have a dependency on alcohol. Be careful when you call someone a drunk.

Do you know someone who drinks too much? Here’s a link for lots of great information. To view the entire article, please see www.alcoholscreening.org. In it you will see:

— Take a quick test to learn if you (or someone you know) drink too much and are at risk of alcoholism.

— Why drink less… Writing down the reasons for drinking less and keeping that list visible at all times

— How to…

  • cut back on drinking
  • Set drinking goals for yourself
  • keep a drinking diary
  • get the support you or your friend needs
  • foretell-tail signs you or a friend has a drinking problem
  • Dos and don’t to helping yourself and a friend
  • Tons of additional resources to get the help you need

Changing behavior is never easy.  Be understanding and patient. Don’t accept any responsibility or guilt for the behavior of another person. You are responsible only for your own behavior.  Whether you decide to help a friend or for yourself to cut down or to abstain entirely from alcohol, DON’T GIVE UP!

More resources on alcoholism:

www.soberforever.net ‑ The Jude Thaddeus Program.

www.moderation.org ‑ Moderation Management stresses balance, moderation, self‑management, and personal responsibility.

www.med.umich.edu/drinkwise ‑ Drink Wise is a brief, confidential educational program for people with mild to moderate alcohol problems who want to eliminate the negative consequences of their drinking.

www.habitsmart.com ‑ Habit Smart promotes the reduction of harmful behaviors and harm through habit change and wise choices.

www.alcoholicsanonymous.org (212‑817‑3400 or consult your local telephone directory) ‑ The oldest and best‑known “twelve‑step” program of self‑help for alcoholics.

www.al-anon.org (888‑4AL‑ANON) ‑ Al‑anon’s purpose is to help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with a problem drinker. Alateen is the recovery program for young people sponsored by Al‑anon members.

www.rational.org/recovery (1‑800‑303‑2873) ‑ Established as an alternative to the spiritual nature of AA.

www.secularhumanism.org (310‑821‑8430) ‑ Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS), also known as Save Our Selves.

http://smartrecovery.org (216‑292‑0220) ‑ Self‑Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery).

www.womenforsobriety.org (1‑800‑333‑1606) ‑ The mutual support groups of Women for Sobriety

Question of the month: Do you have remedies to staying sober you would like to share or situations that will be helpful to other viewers?  Please let us hear from you.

Happy practicing!


 

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3 Responses to "8 Ways To Stay Sober at Social Events, Part 2"

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