09/07/2019

'Know Your Limits If Drinking On The Twelfth'

As spectators prepare to line the streets of Northern Ireland for the annual Twelfth of July celebrations, the Public Health Agency is urging drinkers to monitor their alcohol intake.

Establishing a plan for the day and sticking to a limit is the best way to keep alcohol consumption under control, experts have said.

The PHA's Drugs and Alcohol lead Michael Owen commented: "A lot of people will be making plans to meet up with their friends and family to celebrate the Twelfth and we are encouraging them to keep an eye on their alcohol intake should they choose to drink.

"It's recommended that men and women drink no more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level. If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three or more days – you shouldn't 'save up' your units for a particular day or a party."
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Binge drinking can lead to major health impacts such as damage to the liver, heart, brain and stomach. Over-indulging can also spoil the celebratory period for heavy drinkers and those closest to them.

The PHA operates a 'virtual bar' app, accessible here, that can help you understand alcohol limits and monitor your intake.

The following advice is also useful:

• Have something to eat before you start drinking to slow down the absorption of alcohol.

• Alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink; for example water or a soft drink.

• Take frequent five-minute breaks from drinking to give your body time to recover.

• Avoid drinking in rounds or having a kitty as this may result in you drinking more.

• Keep track of your drinks and don't let anyone top up your drink until it's finished. 

• If a friend does drink too much, don't leave them alone or let them wander off, encourage them to re-hydrate with non-alcoholic drinks, stick together and plan how to get home in advance.



(JG/CM)


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