How to Drink Responsibly and Enjoy Alcohol

Top 7 tips for safe drinking

How to Drink Responsibly and Enjoy Alcohol

Drinking can be fun, let’s be honest. But too much alcohol can lead to injury, accidents, serious embarrassment and long-term health problems. Even drinking small amounts of alcohol increases your cancer risk.

Follow this advice to drink safely.

1. Understand both how much alcohol you are having and how much you should have

Drinking can be part of a healthy lifestyle as long as you learn as much as you can about the effects of alcohol on the body — and follow the Australian Guidelines.

The Australian Guidelines recommend healthy adults should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week, and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day, to cut the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

A standard drink contains about 10 grams of ethanol (alcohol), which is the amount your body can process in 1 hour. How much alcohol you can handle depends on your age, weight, gender and how you feel at the time.

Drinking more than your daily dose can increase your risk of accident, injury or hangover. Drinking too much regularly also increases your risk of developing a long-term chronic condition heart disease, cancer, liver disease, mental illness or brain damage.

Learn more about how alcohol affects your health here.

2. Eat before (and during) drinking sessions

Alcohol enters your bloodstream through your stomach and small intestine. If your stomach's empty when you start drinking, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream more quickly.

So it's a good idea to eat before you down your first drink, and while you are drinking. To get the best mixing food and alcohol:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Don't mix alcohol with sugary or energy drinks.
  • Avoid salty snacks — they will make you thirsty and ly to drink more.

It's easy to drink more than you realise. A standard drink is a can or bottle of mid-strength beer, 100ml of wine or a 30ml shot of spirits. Drinks served in bars or restaurants often contain more than 1 standard drink.

Set yourself a drinks limit and stick to it. Avoid drinking in rounds (especially with friends who drink too much). Try to finish your drink before you start another, rather than topping up your glass.

Use this Standard drink calculator from Drinkwise to work out how much you are drinking

4. Slow your intake with alcohol-free drinks

The amount of alcohol in your blood (blood alcohol concentration, or BAC) influences how alcohol affects you. The higher your BAC, the more at risk you are of injury or overdose.

Your body can only process 1 standard drink per hour. The faster you drink, the higher your BAC.

Standard drink guide (developed by Department of Health). Click here for an extended version.

To keep safe, slow down your drinking to 1 drink per hour. You can do this by:

  • drinking non-alcoholic drinks as well as alcoholic drinks
  • drinking water to quench your thirst before you start drinking alcohol
  • opting for low-alcohol drinks
  • sipping rather than gulping

5. Skip the drinking games and shots

When you binge drink (drink more than 4 drinks in 1 session) and get drunk, you're more ly to get hurt, put yourself in a dangerous situation, embarrass yourself, or even suffer alcohol poisoning.

Try to avoid drinking games, shots, skolling races or anything that aims to get you intoxicated fast. Play pool, dance or debate about reality TV instead. Do anything but try to keep up with your friends.

Don't mix alcohol with energy drinks, as this can make you drink more. Be careful about how much you drink if you've taken any other drugs or medicines.

Don't be an amateur — watch this video from DrinkWise on how to drink properly.

It's against the law in Australia to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.05. Learner (L) and probationary (P) drivers must have a BAC of 0.00 (that's zero!).

However, there is no safe level of alcohol if you are driving. The more drinks you put away, the more ly you are to have a road accident — and that accident could involve another person, not just you.

Instead of drinking and driving:

  • Plan how you're going to get home before you go out.
  • Decide with your friends who will be the 'designated driver'.
  • Make sure you reserve enough money for a taxi home.
  • Use public transport.

7. 'Just say no' if you're..

Very young, pregnant, planning a pregnancy, breastfeeding, on meds or feeling depressed.

Drinking alcohol can be more harmful for some people. The safest option for children and young people under 18 is not to drink any alcohol at all.

If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, it's safest for your baby if you don't drink.

It's also best to avoid alcohol if you're taking any medicines or recreational drugs since when mixed with alcohol, they can have an unpleasant effect. wise, it's not a good idea to drink when you're feeling depressed because alcohol can make you feel worse.

Last reviewed: February 2020


Casual Drinking, Problem Drinking & Alcoholism

How to Drink Responsibly and Enjoy Alcohol
Chris Elkins, MA |Last Updated: 2/27/20|3 sources

Doctors need more than a rubric to diagnose alcoholism. A lot of people who drink end up getting drunk more often than they intended. Many people regret what they do or say when they drink. But that doesn’t mean they have the disease called alcoholism.

Different types of drinkers can be defined by the way they drink and the consequences that they experience.

Casual drinkersAlso known as social drinkers, casual drinkers are people who occasionally drink alcohol. They usually drink responsibly, which means they don’t get drunk or black out regularly.Problem DrinkersProblem drinkers consume alcohol frequently. They usually drink more than they mean to, and they regret what they do when they drink. Problem drinkers may experience some health effects, but they can quit drinking on their own.AlcoholicsAlcoholics cannot control how much they drink. Most alcoholics drink daily. They regularly experience problems in various aspects of life because of how much or how often they drink. These people require support groups or rehab to stay sober.

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol addiction, is a disease that makes it very difficult for a person to stay sober. One of the biggest warning signs for alcoholism is trying to stop drinking without success. But that symptom is also subjective.

If you make a pledge to stay sober for a week but you have a drink or two at happy hour with friends, that doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic. You may be a casual drinker who sometimes gives in to peer pressure. If you’re capable of drinking responsibly, you probably aren’t an alcoholic.

Casual Drinking

Casual drinking is a pattern of low-risk drinking that involves consuming alcohol in low doses on rare occasions. People who drink casually, also referred to as social drinkers, typically consume alcohol no more than once per week or a few times each month.

  • I know when I should stop drinking.
  • I find a sober driver if I drink too much.
  • I drink only a few times each month.
  • When I drink, I try not to get drunk.

People who drink casually usually don’t get blackout drunk. However, they may have a low tolerance to alcohol and a high risk of getting drunk if they overindulge.

Problem Drinking

You don’t have to be an alcoholic to have problems with alcohol. Problem drinkers don’t necessarily need to go to a residential rehab center to stop drinking. But they may struggle to recognize how much alcohol is too much.

  • I often drink when I’m alone.
  • I usually drink too much.
  • I make time in my daily or weekly schedule to drink.
  • I turn to alcohol when I’m bored.

People who have problems with alcohol may be capable of stopping on their own if they want to, but they may not recognize the negative effects of alcohol. Or they may not want to stop drinking.

Some of these people may require some form of therapy or support to learn how to control their drinking.


The biggest differences between an alcoholic and a problem drinker are the severity of alcohol-related problems and the person’s ability to control his or her drinking. A high-functioning alcoholic may appear to function normally, but they’re usually experiencing internal problems because of their drinking.

Most people with alcoholism experience problems at work or school. They often have legal problems or deteriorating personal relationships. And they usually require addiction treatment or support from peer groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, to get sober.

  • Others have told me that I drink too much.
  • Drinking causes problems at work or school.
  • I have tried to stop drinking, but I can’t.
  • I feel cravings or withdrawal symptoms when I go too long without drinking.

Alcoholics usually drink every day or almost every day. When they drink, they almost always drink too much. They experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, fatigue and anxiety, when they quit drinking. Alcoholics also feel physical cravings for alcohol.

If you think you’re an alcoholic, consider discussing your alcohol use with your health provider. If you’re unable to quit drinking, you should look into attending alcohol rehab.

If you’re unsure about whether you’re a casual drinker or a problem drinker, consider cutting back on your alcohol intake or committing to sobriety. Despite its prevalence, alcohol is a high-risk substance. You don’t need it to socialize and have fun. If you still want to drink casually, be sure to drink responsibly.

What Does It Mean to Drink Responsibly?

Drinking responsibly is a vague recommendation. Moderate drinking means consuming one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But you can probably consume more than two drinks per day and still drink responsibly.

Responsible drinking can include drinking slowly so you don’t get drunk. It can also mean only letting yourself get inebriated when you know you’re in a safe environment surrounded by friends.

  • Only drinking on a full stomach
  • Having a glass of water in between drinks
  • Avoiding shots or drinks with high alcohol content
  • Avoiding drinking games
  • Having a sober driver available
  • Drinking only in appropriate settings

Drinking responsibly is relative to your situation. If you’re underage or in recovery from alcoholism, it’s impossible to drink responsibly. These people shouldn’t consume alcohol in any situation.

Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.


6 Practical Tips for Drinking Responsibly

How to Drink Responsibly and Enjoy Alcohol

Submitted by

“Chug! Chug! Chug!” The crowds are cheering and you’re drinking. What started as a casual night of partying has turned into a drunken mess.

You’re slurring your words and can barely stumble through the walk home. Or worse, the alcohol overtakes your body and you spend the end of the evening hunched over a toilet.

At least you didn’t do anything so stupid to need a criminal lawyer in the morning, right?

The consequences of irresponsible drinking can range the gamut from ruining your evening to ruining your life.

Roman Solohub, author of Clear Thinking When Drinking, is a professional when it comes to teaching individuals how to handle alcohol responsibly.

“From the moment you intend to drink alcohol,” Solohub says, “you assume a responsibility to yourself and to the rest of society. Society deserves and expects that those who consume alcohol do so in a way that does not compromise the safety of others.”

Enjoying alcohol doesn’t have to mean that you get falling-down-drunk every night. With these six tips for drinking responsibly, you’ll be able to have a good time without regretting it in the morning.

1. Eat Before (or During) Drinking

Having some food in your stomach slows the absorption rate of alcohol. Proteins, fats, and dense carbohydrates are all good choices to buffer the effects of drinking.

In addition, bananas can help absorb the alcohol in your stomach and keep you from feeling nauseous.

2. Know the Strength of Each Drink

Throughout his website and book, Solohub stresses the importance of assigning the correct potency to each alcoholic drink. One beer (12 ounces), one glass of wine (5 ounces), and one shot of liquor (1.

5 ounces of 80-proof) all contain roughly the same amount of alcohol. This means that you must pay attention to how much you or the bartender is pouring into your drinks.

If you put two shots into one glass of a mixed drink, it still counts as two drinks.

3. Keep Track of How Many Drinks You’ve Had in a Specific Time Period  

In general, the body metabolizes alcohol at about one drink per hour. This means that it takes 60 minutes for the effects of one drink to leave your body. Consuming additional drinks will, in essence, put your body behind and increase the level of intoxication. This is why counting the number of drinks and keeping track of time are essential to responsible drinking. 

4. Avoid Shots and Drinking Games

Partygoers who are taking shots are most ly having more than one drink per hour. This same overconsumption is typical in drinking games “flip cup” or “quarters.”

Solohub says, “The body just cannot keep up with that type of rapid alcohol intake. A shot can be ingested in a second, yet it can take the body a full hour to metabolize that drink.

Doing several shots in a row really puts the body behind in this metabolism process. The moral of the story is: Don't do shots. They don't taste good.

They're a waste of good liquor and people usually do them when they're already drunk.“

5. Know Your Limits

Binge drinking is dangerous and sometimes deadly. Take time before you go out to look at a blood alcohol content (BAC) calculator. This resource will tell you how much you can responsibly drink your weight and sex, the time period, and type of drink. Make a responsible drinking plan those results and stick to it.

If you’ve had a night of irresponsible drinking and extreme intoxication, learn from it. Chances are, you don’t want to have a repeat of that monster hangover. Think through the situation in your head and figure out what pushed you over your limits. For example, if tequila makes you act belligerent, don’t drink it.

If Long Island iced teas make you drunk too quick, slowly sip your drink next time.

6.  8 Hours Bottle to Throttle

As a professional airline pilot, Solohub knows he can’t responsibly perform his job with alcohol in his system. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a rule for all pilots: eight hours bottle to throttle. This regulation is a practical standard for the aviation community and it can be a helpful guideline for anyone who drinks alcohol.

Solohub explains, “It means that under no circumstances can a commercial airline pilot have any alcohol at all within eight hours of flight duty.

That does not mean that a pilot can get roaring drunk, just as long as he stops more than eight hours prior to duty.

Sometimes, eight hours is not nearly enough to recover from a session of irresponsible consumption, but at least it sets a minimum guideline that responsible consumers can use.”

The same principle can be applied to ordinary individuals who want to have a night out and still be productive the next day. The rule can become “eight hours bottle to Business 101” or “eight hours bottle to getting to work” or “eight hours bottle to negotiating a big deal”.

With these six tips, a night of drinking doesn’t have to be something you regret in the morning or pay for with hours of mandatory community service. Stay smart the next time you go out and turn “drinking responsibly” into a good time for everybody.

Have you ever tried these tips? What strategies do you use to keep your alcohol consumption in check? 


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