I listened to this program on Marketplace, “ Friends Don’t Let Friends Walk Drunk ,” and was struck by the discussion — especially the impression I had that the only two options after a night of celebrating the New Year were to drive drunk or walk drunk. Further, if one’s friend is that drunk, a person was encouraged to not let them walk or drive — to have them stay put. In that scenario, will that friend be able to keep an eye on them to be sure they are not so drunk they die? Check out this post, “ Why BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Can Keep Rising After a Person Stops Drinking .”
It seemed odd to me not to include at least a nod to a 3rd option, “Don’t get so drunk you can’t walk home.” Sure, enjoy toasting to the New Year but here are some tips for keeping it safe enough to still walk:
1. Make sure you’ve eaten. Not that food absorbs the alcohol, but it does slow how quickly it passes to the small intestine and from there into the bloodstream. A couple of drinks on an empty stomach will cause the alcohol to travel quickly to the brain and there start to impair a person’s “normal” thinking processes.
2. Make sure you drink water or a non-alcoholic beverage between drinks. The water does not dilute the alcohol but it does help with dehydration and other hangover effects. Not only that, it’s a good way to help your liver keep up with metabolizing the alcohol in the drink you’ve consumed. Again, you may want to check out, “ Why BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Can Keep Rising After a Person Stops Drinking ,” for a better understanding of how the body processes alcohol.
3. Keep it to no more than one drink/hour with no more than 3 drinks on an occasion for women and no more than 4 for men. It takes the liver an average of one hour to metabolize (rid the body) of the alcohol in one standard drink. This is NIAAA’s definition of moderate drinking. Check out their website, “ Rethinking Drinking .”
4. Know how many standard drinks are in the drink you consume. For example, a 24-ounce can of beer contains 2 standard drinks. 3.3 ounces of champagne is one standard drink. So is 12 ounces of regular beer and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof alcohol (e.g., vodka) and 5 ounces of table wine. This visual may help