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Eat, drink and be safe

Everyone likes to let their hair down at Christmas and enjoy the socialising that comes with it, but it’s easy to get carried away and have one drink too many, which could leave you having a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons!

Alcohol is a poison and can be toxic enough to kill.  Long–term over consumption of alcohol also increases the chances that drinkers will suffer from a range of health problems including heart and liver diseases, obesity, and mental illness.

So why not make a few New Year’s resolutions in advance?  Enjoy a merry and safe Christmas by following these simple tips from NHS Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group:

  • If you’re out for the night, decide on a limit of how much you plan to drink and stick to it
  • Drink in moderation and opt for water or a soft drink every other round to lessen the effects of dehydration. Avoid mixing drinks and pay particular attention to measures when drinking at home as they tend to be more generous
  • Avoid rounds — round buying often means you drink more than you want

Know what you’re drinking
Stronger drinks and larger pub measures can make it difficult to know just how much you’re drinking. Learn the strengths of your drinks so you can stick to your own limits:

  • Darker drinks like red wine, brandy and whiskey give worse hangovers because of their higher concentrations of chemicals
  • Find something else to do while you drink, like darts, pool, dancing or pub quizzes — this will distract you from drinking
  • Leave your car at home if you’re planning to drink — don’t walk home alone, get a taxi, bus or walk with a friend

Staying in? Tips for the party host

  • Have food first - alcohol on an empty stomach makes people drunk more quickly -  offer guests something to nibble
  • Also offer soft drinks and make sure they are just as visible as the alcoholic drinks

Dr Gora Bangi, Chair of NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG, said: “Many people are risking their health by regularly drinking too much and probably don’t realise that they’re drinking more than they should be. That’s why it’s more important than ever to remember to drink sensibly over the festive season.”

If you need any support or advice you can visit the NHS Choices website to find your local substance misuse or alcohol support service.

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