Yeah, it’s a bit of a dead horse, but a lot of people don’t seem to really grasp it. So what does “drink responsibly” actually mean?
By Shira Kogut on Jul. 04, 2017
Sure…drinking can be fun, but like most things in life, it comes with risks
Knowing the risks, being accountable, and not being a dick is how we all get along, right? Yes, the “responsibility and you” talk is the less-interesting side of drinking, but it’s the most important thing you should fully understand before you start drinking. At JustBeer, we call this lesson the, “Drinking Responsibly – Reboot”.
How does one “Drink Responsibly”?
Follow these steps:
1. Avoid Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is when you typically consume more than 4 beers in a one-hour period of time. Whether you chug them or drink them “slowly”, if your objective is to get drunk it’s considered binge drinking and it can have an adverse effect on your health. Excessive binge drinking can lead to brain damage, liver damage, infertility and so much more. For more details on binge drinking and your health see Know Your Limits.
2. If You’ve Been Drinking, Don’t Drive
See what we did there? We didn’t say, “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE”, because that phrase is so over used, the message doesn’t even register anymore. Here’s what you need to take away from this lesson: when you drink your ability to assess your level of intoxication is compromised; don’t play guessing games after you’ve had a few drinks; setup a fail-safe rule, “if I have had more than two drinks in a 2-hour period, I will not drive”. Period.
We all know, when we drink, our reaction times are impaired and we know that drinking and driving has shitty consequences for everyone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US says that:
Every day, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 51 minutes.
According to MADD Canada while the numbers are less it is still the #1 cause of accidental death for Canadians:
On average, approximately 4 people are killed each day in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs. In 2012, there were 2,546 crash deaths. Of those, 1,497 deaths, or 58.8%, involved drivers who had some alcohol and/or drug presence in their systems.
- 476 deaths, or 18.7%, occurred in crashes involving drivers with a positive alcohol reading.
- 614 deaths, or 24.1%, occurred in crashes involving drivers with a positive drug reading. Cannabis was the drug most frequently found.
- 407 deaths, or 16%, occurred in crashes involving drivers with positive readings for both alcohol and drugs.
Those are scary numbers! That means over 10,000 people die every year in the US because of alcohol-related collisions! 10,000 people. That’s likely more than the number of people you will meet this year — all of them, dead. Don’t risk it. If you’ve had more than two drinks: get an Uber, get a cab, call Keys Please (or an alternative designated driver service), call a friend, your mom, literally CALL ANYONE, but don’t drive.
3. Alcohol is Addictive
Sometimes it’s hard to know when your casual drinking has moved into the realm of a serious addiction. Alcoholism comes in stages: early, chronic and end. That early stage starts with excess drinking (daily or occasional binge drinking) which applies to many of us. A good indicator that you’re on the wrong end of a relationship with alcohol is that you’re drinking to avoid dealing with life issues, another sign is erratic and angry behavior; if your drinking is affecting your job and/or relationships it’s time to consider getting processional help. If you’re looking for more information on alcoholism and tell tale signs check out the American Addiction Centers.
How do you know if you’ve been drinking too much?
Take the JustBeer “Am I an Alcoholic Quiz”
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the signs outlined above, you are not alone. There are places where you can seek help including:
American Addiction Centers
Canada Alcohol and drug Rehabilitation Services
Canadian Centre for Addictions
4. Never Drink While Pregnant
There are numerous studies that outline the negative effects of alcohol on fetal development. It passes from the mother’s blood to the baby’s affecting the baby’s developing brain and spinal cord cells. These defects are permanent – don’t risk it. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a serious and incurable disorder.
What does living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) look like?
Like Morgan said:
“No amount of alcohol is safe…What’s more important to you a few moments of fun or the life of another person. I would never tell somebody that they can’t drink during pregnancy that’s their human rights. You can do whatever you want with your body, but whenever I speak at any facilities… I always ask one simple question
“Do you feel that you have the right to harm another human being?”
“Is one night of drinking or one glass of wine with dinner worth a lifetime of pain of another human being?”
“Is it worth having a child like me who has so many problems living day-to-day life that it’s actually worth having a little bit of alcohol?””
Please don’t drink while you are pregnant and again if you need help stopping contact one of the centers listed above.
Remember: if you’re of-age to drink, it’s because you’re an adult—act like one. Drink responsibly because your actions (impaired or not) affect those around you. Have fun, be safe and watch out for yourself and your friends.
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