By the writers at Wikihow.com
April is Alcohol Awareness month. If you drink alcohol, it's important to know how to drink responsibly and to stay within your alcohol tolerance level. If you don't, then you could hurt your friends and family and put yourself in grave danger. If you want to know how to drink responsibly, whether you're at a bar, a party, or any other place where people are drinking, then you have to make a game plan, know your limits, and know how to spot and avoid dangerous situations. If you want to know how to enjoy alcohol instead of letting alcohol take control of you, just follow the suggestions starting with Step 1, below.
Part 1 of 3: Make a Game Plan
Drink with a group of friends. If you want to drink responsibly, then the first thing you should do is avoid drinking alone, or drinking with people you don't really know or trust all that well. If you're out on your own and have no one looking out for you, you can get in all kinds of trouble without anyone even knowing something's wrong. Whether you're heading to a party or out to the bars, always make sure to drink with a group of people you like and trust.
Know your limits. Before all else, know yourself and your own limits. It doesn't take long to learn how little or how much alcohol you can tolerate and every body is unique in its ability to tolerate alcohol. Listen to your body and respond in a way that nurtures it rather than abuses it. The first time you drink, you should drink with close friends in the comfort of your own home or their homes, so that you don't get socially overwhelmed. This will help you get a sense of what you can and can not handle.
Know how you're getting home. If you're going out with friends, you should know exactly how you're getting home the night before. There are a few options: the easiest is to have a designated driver before you go out, so you have a person who will forgo alcohol that night and get you home safely. You can also get home by taking a bus or other forms of public transportation or just call a cab or walk if you're close enough to the bar.
Part 2 of 3: Manage Your Drinking
Know what you're drinking. While it's good to try something out for the first time, like a "Sex On The Beach" or a beer you've never had before, be aware of its alcohol content before stocking up on more than one. You may not always be able to detect the strength of the alcohol in your drink owing to sweeteners, milk or cream or other fillers that cover the alcohol. Moreover, your own personal reaction to an unfamiliar drink may be faster inebriation than with your usual drinks.
Pace yourself. It's important to keep a steady pace when you're drinking. It can take time for alcohol to take its effect. You might feel okay for another shot after a couple of minutes, but keep in mind that you probably haven't felt its effects just yet. Nibble on some food or drink some water in the meantime, to allow the alcohol to diffuse through your body.
Part 3 of 3: Avoid Dangerous Situations
Get comfortable with your surroundings. If you're at a house party, get acquainted with the people who own the house and its facilities. Know where the bathroom is. Find a secluded place and choose to keep your shoes or coat there (but never your purse or wallet). If you find that you are losing control, quickly make an excuse ("I left my phone in my coat pocket!") and go to that secluded place to calm down and/or to dump drinks. If you need to get home, find the house owners and ask them to call a taxi or to arrange for a sober person to take you home.
Avoid peer pressure. Always remember that you're drinking to enjoy and have fun, not to show off. The whole point of drinking is to enjoy the drink, enjoy the company and feel free. You don't need to "keep up," or engage in stupid competitions that could ruin the night and even friendships. If you're hanging out with people who encourage you to drink more even though you don't want to, then you're hanging out with the wrong people.
Lie on your side if you're feeling sick. Whether you've thrown up, feel like you might throw up, or just feel terrible, you should lie down on your side to prevent yourself from choking on your vomit if you're lying on your back. Keep a bucket by your mouth and be prepared to throw up if it's necessary. If you find yourself in this unpleasant state, don't go home by yourself -- have a trusted friend stay the night so she can watch over you when you need help.
Don't accept a drink from a stranger. If you've walked into a party and a guy offers you a drink right away, don't accept it unless you see him make it or grab it for you so you know exactly what it's the drink. If the guy just grabs you a beer from a cooler, then that's fine, but if he disappears into the kitchen and returns with a "mystery drink" that may be filled with alcohol or even date-rape drugs, then you'll be in the middle of a very dangerous situation.
Don't leave your drink unattended. Your drink should be in your hand or at least in your sight at all times, whether you're at a party or at a bar. If you set your drink down and walk away, someone could mess with your drink, or you could even end up picking up a stronger drink by mistake, thinking it was yours.
Here at IL Liquor Marts, we want all of our customers to have fun and drink responsibly.