By Laura Garcia, program specialist with Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The Army Substance Abuse Program provides resources to community members so everyone can make smart decisions regarding alcohol consumption. Check out tips the program has for responsibly consuming, and avoiding, alcoholic beverages this summer.
Plan to drink alcohol this summer? Use these tips to help keep your use in a safer, lower risk range:
- Plan ahead. Before going out set a limit on the number of alcoholic drinks you plant to consume, and then stick to that number.
- If you’re planning on drinking alcohol at an event, do not drive intoxicated. Instead, make advanced plans to either stay the night or take a taxi ride home.
- Do not consume alcohol on an empty stomach. Eat before and throughout the party.
- Begin the night with a non-alcoholic drink.
- Do not drink multiple alcoholic beverages back-to-back. Instead, alternate consumption between one alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic beverage.
- Check-in with yourself after each alcoholic drink, and space out your drinks over a safe period of time.
- Remember to drink plenty of water, especially if out in the sun.
- To ensure that your beverages are not tampered with, do not leave them unattended.
- Slowly sip your drinks, because gulping alcohol is risky.
- Avoid risky alcohol use. If you start to feel impaired, then it is time to stop drinking alcohol.
Want to slow down and take a break from alcohol? These tips will help make abstaining easier:
- Pursue rewarding activities that do not involve alcohol.
- Bring your favorite non-alcoholic beverage — such as water, ice tea or diet soda — to gatherings.
- Limit your exposure to alcohol by limiting the amount of time you spend at a party or event.
- Limit or avoid people, places and activities that make you want to drink.
- Prepare a polite, convincing way to say “no” to people who offer you an alcoholic drink. A simple, “no thanks” works.
- Remind yourself of the positive effects of not drinking alcohol.
- Count the calories you are saving by not drinking alcohol.
- If you need help, seek support from family and friends.
- Plan ahead for how to handle a temptation. Ride out that temptation wave by distracting yourself — take a walk, do a chore or deep breathe.
- Using the money that you are saving from not drinking alcoholic beverages, reward yourself with “free” activities or little purchases.
The 2021 Summer Sense Campaign runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Every week, ASAP expects to bring the segments of the campaign to the small screen with videos and fun facts broadcasted via AFN TV. Then return to this article for the discussed recipes, quizzes and more.