- Before you head out make sure you load up on a hearty meal first. This helps to slow down the rate at which alcohol enters your blood so it won’t go to your head too quickly. Starchy foods like pasta and potatoes are best.
- Have a glass of water or a soft drink in between each alcoholic drink to pace yourself and stay hydrated. This has the added bonus of keeping the cost down too, meaning you’ll be able to afford even more great nights out!
- Stick to one type of alcohol. Mixing your drinks can make it hard to keep track of how much you’ve had and can make you feel very sick the next morning.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can call for a taxi at the end of the night. Remember if you’ve run out of money you can book a taxi with Amber Cars you can give them your student card on the night and then pay the fare the next day at the Students’ Union.
One too many?
The line between hilariously drunk and dangerously intoxicated is very thin. One minute you’re enjoying a few stupid laughs and then the next something seems very wrong. To know when a friend is over the line, look out for these symptoms:
- Loss of coordination
- Irregular or slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Blue-tinged or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Stupor – when someone’s conscious but unresponsive
- Unconsciousness – passing out
The next step is to know what to do. A lot of the methods we’re used to actually do more harm than good. Giving someone coffee can make them even more dehydrated. Letting someone sleep it off can also be dangerous because the body continues to absorb alcohol even as we sleep, meaning the damage to their body can get much worse without us realising it. Alcohol also lowers our body temperature so getting someone to take a cold shower puts them at risk of hypothermia. So what can we do about it?
The best ways to look after someone showing signs of alcohol poisoning are:
- Try to keep them awake and sitting up
- Give them some water, if they can drink it
- 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 wait around – call 999 for an ambulance.