The Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) is raising local awareness of the dangers of drinking too much alcohol; specifically highlighting that drinking to excess can lead to people taking dangerous risks they normally would not take.
Social media and pressure from others can lead you to drink more than you normally would, but here are some tips to help keep you and your friends stay safe.
Don’t feel pressurized into drinking too much
It’s easy to feel pressurized into drinking too much but it’s so important to know your personal limits; it can be a very fine line. One minute your house guest is stupidly drunk, the next they’ve become dangerously intoxicated and are seriously risking their health. Don’t let it get to that stage.
Look after your friends
Think about how you would feel if you had encouraged a friend to drink and, as the result, your friend caused an accident or worse. Make sure everyone gets home safely and never leave someone to ‘sleep it off’ alone if very drunk, as they could choke on their own vomit or could suffer from alcohol poisoning.
Watch out for alcohol poisoning, look out for the signs
Your body can only process one unit of alcohol an hour. If you drink a lot in a short space of time, the amount of alcohol in the blood can stop the body from working properly. Look out for:
- Loss of coordination
- Blue-tinged or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Irregular or slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Stupor – when someone’s conscious but unresponsive
- Unconsciousness – passing out
Five things to do if someone is showing signs of alcohol poisoning
- Give them some water, if they can drink it.
- Try to keep them awake and sitting up, or lie them on their side in the recovery position if they’ve passed out, and check they’re breathing properly.
- Keep them warm.
- Stay with them and monitor their symptoms.
- If they’re not getting any better, don’t delay, dial 999 for an ambulance and don’t wait for all the symptoms to show before getting help – it’s better safe than sorry.
For more information please visit Drinkaware at http://www.drinkaware.co.uk or contact your local Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership.