Adults & Alcohol

As an adult, 21 or over, the choice is yours when it comes to alcohol. While nearly one-third of American adults do not drink at all, those who choose to drink should make informed choices about their use. Please remember:

• Impairment begins with the first drink. Alcohol begins to affect a person long before he or she can feel it.

• Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the central nervous system.
• Excessive drinking can damage the liver, brain, stomach, and other organs.
• A person does not have to be an alcoholic to have problems with alcohol. If you abuse alcohol, you hurt others as well as yourself.

Moderation is the key when drinking alcohol. If you're going to drink alcohol, understand its effects and know how to minimize the problems BEFORE you begin drinking. 

 What Can You Do To Avoid Problems When Drinking?

 • Never drink on an empty stomach. Food will slow alcohol's absorption into the bloodstream.
• Remember that a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor contain about the same amount of alcohol, known as one standard drink. Many mixed drinks contain more than 1 standard drink – some may contain close to 4!
• When drinking, try to limit yourself to less than one drink per hour. It takes your liver approximately one hour to get rid of each drink. Coffee, a cold shower, and exercise will NOT speed up this process. Only TIME can make a person sober.
• If somebody chooses not to drink, respect that decision and do not ask intrusive questions. Many people have very compelling reasons to avoid alcohol (religion, pregnancy, medical conditions or medications, family history of alcoholism, recovery from alcoholism or addiction, or previous bad experiences with alcohol) that they prefer to keep private. If the abstainer is made to feel awkward, shamed, or excluded because they aren’t drinking, they are more likely to engage in other destructive behaviors.

Remember: Never drink and drive. If a friend has been drinking:

 • Call a cab • Take the keys • Get a hotel room
• Give them a ride home (ONLY IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN DRINKING)
• Call the police