- DO set a limit for yourself before going out and having drinks. You should know, according to your body type and tolerance, how much alcohol you can safely have.
- DON’T go out with people who make you feel uncomfortable about not drinking. The people worth hanging out with are the ones who will respect you and your choices.
- DO be careful at bars, clubs, or parties where “Ladies Drink Free” - women are generally affected more quickly by alcohol then men and an intoxicated person may be targeted for sexual assault.
- DON’T guzzle, play drinking games, or use devices to consume more quickly (funnels, shot slides, tubes, double shot glasses, etc.). Your body can only safely process .5 oz of alcohol (about half the amount in an average drink) an hour. So, have one drink/hour and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- DO take a break from drinking. Show yourself and your friends that you don’t need alcohol to go out and have a good time. If you can’t do that, then that is an indication that you may have a problem with alcohol.
- DO eat before and during drinking alcohol - it will slow down the absorption rate of the alcohol into your bloodstream. However, eating after you drink will not change anything - once alcohol is in your bloodstream, nothing can speed the rate of absorption.
- DON’T go to places where you will be bored if you’re not drinking or where you will be uneasy without a drink in your hand.
- DO talk to your friends before going out to discuss what to do if: (1) someone is drinking too much, (2) someone gets drunk and starts hooking up with someone they probably wouldn’t want to, (3) someone wants to leave but the others want to stay out. Prepare yourself and your friends to take care of each other and to support each other in making responsible choices.
- DON’T leave your drinks unattended, let someone else get your drink for you, or drink from a punch bowl - predatory drugs are out there!! They are colorless, odorless, and will leave you completely vulnerable to be taken advantage of. You are not always in a “safe place” with “safe people”—Get your own drink, watch it being made, and keep it with you where you can see it at all times.
- DO get involved when you see someone else putting him/herself in danger. Alcohol poisoning, accidents, sexual assaults, drug overdoses, and drunk driving deaths are all real! Better to have someone ask you why you tried to keep them from having a good time, then to have his/her parents ask you why you let them leave the party drunk. Care enough to get involved and do the right thing. Wouldn’t you want someone to do that for you?
The Surgeon General says that “smoking represents the most extensively documented cause of disease ever investigated in the history of biomedical research.” Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States - more than 400,000 die from it each year. 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. is smoking related (Center for Disease Control).
Ready to stop spending money on cigarettes?
Ready to quit going outside for smoke-breaks?
Ready to have your clothes, car, sheets, and breath smell good again?
Ready to stop seeing that look on people? face when they find out you are “A Smoker” . . .
Do You Really Need Another Reason To Quit?
- Make a date. Then stop.
- Get rid of everything - cigarettes, lighter, your ashtrays, etc.
- Drink lots of water to flush out your system.
- Get some exercise - it’ll help you relax.
- If you feel bad, think positively. It’s your body recovering.
- Prepare for the situations where you are used to smoking - in bars, with certain friends, after dinner, etc.
- Never have another cigarette. It can lead to thousands.
- Buy things you like with your cigarette money (CD’s, movie tickets, save up for leather jacket or a plane ticket, etc.).
- Eat fruit, raw vegetables or sugar free candy. It’ll keep your hands occupied and you won’t put on weight.
- Take one day at a time. Today, don’t have a cigarette.
How to Help Family or Friends With Substance Abuse Problems
- Realize the negative effect that alcohol or other drug use is having on the person and that s/he needs to change his/her behavior. Be confident that your involvement is the right and caring thing to do.
- Don’t do it alone. Talk with someone else, preferably a counselor, about the best way to approach the situation.
- Talk with your friend – when s/he is sober. Make sure the your friend sees what you see and knows how you have been affected as well.
- Be prepared for negative responses, excuses, and even criticisms of your own behavior. Stay calm and don’t take anything personally. Keep the conversation centered on your friend and how substances are affecting him/her.
- If your friend responds negatively, try again after the next instance of abusive behavior – repeat after each incident – be consistent with your message.
- If your friend responds positively, work with him/her to develop a plan for change. Suggest a PIER 21 appointment and offer to come with your friend.
- If your friend’s drinking habits do not change, set some limits for yourself and remove yourself from situations that upset or potentially harm you. Ultimately, your friend needs to make his/her own decisions – only s/he can be responsible for her/his actions.
- Find support for yourself and get attention for your needs. This is a tough thing to go through but you do not need to do it alone – there are many resources available to help you through this! Take advantage of them!
Adopted from BACCHUS & GAMMA’s “How to Help a Friend With a Drinking Problem”