The Union of UEA Students is committed to provided a fun, but safe drinking environment. Here's some information on how to drink safely and responsibly.
The amount of alcohol a person consumes is measured in units. Here's some rough examples of what makes up a typical unit:
- Half a pint of beer or cider
- A small glass of wine
- A single measure of spirits (e.g. whisky, vodka, rum or gin)
As a rule, health experts recommend that adult men drink no more than 21 units per week. In real terms, this means guys shouldn't exceed two pints of lager or beer, or three glasses of wine a day. Health experts recommend women do not exceed 14 units of alcohol per week. In real terms this is a pint or a couple of glasses of wine a day.
Please visit Drinkaware.co.uk for more info on units.
Ways to drink safely
Drink plenty of water, especially during your boozing session. Pacing yourself in this way should ensure your body doesn't dry out too badly. A pint of water before you head horizontal can also see off any headaches.
Eat well before you drink and your body will be better equipped to soak up the stuff. Go for food that takes a long time to digest, such as bread, cheese, potato and pasta, as this will line your stomach. A pint of milk is also thought to have the same effect.
Try not to mix your drinks, because you're only adding to the number of toxins that your body has to deal with. If you're planning on a session then stick to one kind of falling-down juice. That way you won't crash out so badly.
Try turning up to the bar or party later than usual, to minimise your drinking time, or kick off with a soft drink to stop you feeling so thirsty.
Binge drinking is dangerous, as your body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour. If you can pace your drinking, and know when enough is enough, your system won't floor you the next day. Before you start drinking, be sure you know when to stop. This can be hard when everyone else is boozing, but practise makes perfect. It also avoids bad hangovers.
A hair of the dog drink might help blunt your headache, basically by making you drunk again, but all you're doing is delaying the inevitable alcohol comedown.
Finally when the party time is over take a break from boozing - set aside an alcohol-free period every now and then. It might be one day in a week or a month, but this respite will boost your health no end.
Watch out for drink spiking. Here's some tips for how you can avoid getting your drink spiked:
- Do not leave your drink unattended
- Keep an eye on your friend's drinks
- Never accept a drink from someone you don't trust
- Don't exchange drinks
- Don't pass drinks down the queue
If you think your drinks been spiked, report it immediately to a member of Union Staff. On an LCR club night go to First Aid in the Hive. If it's serious call the police on 0845 456 4567.
Caring for a drunk mate
From weaving into traffic to starting impossible fights, and even dealing with a case of unconsciousness, here's how to manage a friend who's had one too many.
Recognise the warning signs.
If you've ever been in a situation where you've consumed too much alcohol, often it's the people around you who are first to notice. So, if you're out with someone who has begun to talk loudly, slur their words, or become a little excitable or unstable on their feet, it might be time to step in as a mate.
Make them aware that they're drunk.
The key is not to make them feel foolish or embarrassed. Instead, have a quiet word and suggest they call a halt to their alcohol intake. As an incentive, flag up the fact that you're both having a good time, so why risk spoiling it by boozing any more? If they're not keen to call it a night, suggest switching to soft drinks instead, grabbing a snack, or even simply slowing down their alcohol intake.
Elect to get them home safely.
The party has to come to a close at some stage - whether your mate has seen reason, or you've nowhere else to keep drinking. Whatever the case, don't let them stumble off alone. Stick together, keep them walking if needs be, and also use your judgement as to whether some food might help. If they're just a bit tipsy then eating can only help to absorb the alcohol in their system, but don't risk if it if they're so hammered you think they're close to losing consciousness.
Taxi ride or trudge on foot?
Some fresh air and physical exercise can often help a drinker sober up. Just consider whether walking back is safe. If your mate is one of those drunks who forget their road sense entirely, or likes to throw insults at police or passing strangers, you might be better off grabbing a taxi. If so, make sure the window is open, and be prepared to ask them to stop in a hurry if it looks like they're about to redecorate the interior.
Let someone know they're in a state, or stay with them.
Once you've reached your destination, don't leave them to their own devices. If they're living at home, or sharing a house or flat, inform someone there of the situation. They might not thank you for waking them up, but ultimately you're doing it for the sake of your friend's welfare - and they will understand this. If your mate lives alone, and is in a rough state, consider staying the night to keep an eye on them. If you have to help them to bed, put them in the recovery position as a precaution (see below).
Dealing with a drunk mate in an emergency.
The first port of call for a drunk mate in a bad state at one of our events in the LCR (club nights and gigs) is to talk to one of our staff (door staff are easy to find in yellow) and be taken to the First Aid room in the Hive where St Johns Ambulance first aiders will be able to help you out. You can find out more about First Aid on the St Johns Ambulance website here: http://www.sja.org.uk/