By Rhona Arinaitwe
It’s common to hear the phrase ‘drink responsibly’ when people are talking about alcohol and we have seen many alcohol commercials saying “drink responsibly.”
For some years now, especially towards Easter and Christmas holidays, Uganda Breweries Limited usually runs Red Card campaigns aimed at responsible drinking.
But what does it actually mean to drink responsibly?
Avoid Drunk Driving
This one kind of sells itself. Responsible drinking means if you have to drive anywhere don’t drink more alcohol than is recommended.
Many traffic accidents in Uganda have been caused by drunk driving. According to the recent traffic report, 310 accidents caused last year were a result of drunk driving.
If you’re going out for a big night, work out amongst your group of friends who’s going to be the one that drives home. If no one wants to have a sober night, bring enough money for a taxi. You could also keep an emergency cash stash at home, so that if something unexpected happens and you need a taxi, you can still pay the fare. Don’t forget that breath alcohol levels continue to rise even after you stop drinking.
Control your alcohol intake
Learning about ways to keep your alcohol intake in check is the first step in learning to drink responsibly. This can be done through personal responsibility and outside help. Though if one has no self control, asking a friend to keep you in check is good.
Being a responsible drinker means making informed decisions about alcohol consumption. Alcohol is alcohol. Whether it’s a beer, wine, or spirit, what matters is how much you drink not what you drink.
Know the standard drink
Being a responsible drinker includes finding out about what a standard drink is and using that information to keep track of how much you’re drinking. When one is drinking shots, it’s important to remember that spirits often have high alcohol content.
Don’t mix alcohol with drugs
Responsible drinking also means that one shouldn’t ix alcohol with drugs. Doctors say the impact of mixing alcohol and other drugs (whether medication or recreational) is pretty serious.
Not only can you not anticipate the effect it will have on your behavior, it will most likely make you sick. There are no safe combo’s when it comes to alcohol and other drugs, so it’s better to just stick to one or the other.
Eat before drinking to slow down alcohol absorption
Drinking alcohol after eating slows down alcohol absorption. This means that the resulting blood alcohol concentration will be lower than if the person had consumed the same alcohol on an empty stomach.
The basic thing to remember around responsible drinking is common sense. If it doesn’t sound like a good idea, it probably isn’t one.
The writer is Corporate Relations Manager of UBL