Blackout Wednesday, or Drinksgiving, is an unofficial holiday dedicated to getting drunk. The amount of alcohol drank on this day is more than New Year’s Eve and Saint Patrick’s Day combined, which are the two biggest drinking holidays. The event began in 2007 when few people were working the next day and a majority of college students returned home, meeting up with their high school buddies to catch up on old times. Unfortunately, this day also encourages excessive drinking. Some locations, like Highwood and Naperville, throw wild parties that require them to remove their stools for safety reasons. According to police records, it is the worst drunk driving night of the year, killing more people in a DUI-related accident than any other holiday. Here is some advice to get you through the night.
The best way to survive a night out drinking is to plan ahead. First, you’ll need to get a good night’s sleep the day before because drinking interferes with your ability to get REM sleep. If hitting multiple places, or doing a pub crawl as it is called, map out your locations. This map can serve as your itinerary which you should leave with a trusted person not going. Set up a budget for how much you plan to pay at each location. Once the budget is set, pull out the exact amount of money and leave the cards at home. This will prevent over-drinking. Eat a well-balanced meal before heading out that is rich in vegetables, dairy, and whole grains. By doing so, you’ll spend less on food at the bar and the food you eat will absorb the alcohol you are consuming in the small intestines.
At The Bar
When you arrive at the place, you’ll want to practice “Mindful Drinking”, or sober curiosity. “Mindful Drinking” means being aware of how much you drink and the impact it can have on your body. Studies show that nearly half of adults who drink want to cut back, but don’t know where to start. It takes proactive practice. When offered a drink, decline it politely and redirect the conversation to something else not alcohol-related. Drink on your own terms. Celebrate the small victories, as any progress is better than none. Ask the bartender to make your drink with half the amount of alcohol. Drink water in between other beverages to keep yourself hydrated to help start warding off your hangover. Go drinking with people who support your drinking habits.
The After Party
The best way to get home safely is with a designated driver. They will also be the designated friend who makes sure everyone stays safe and together. On some holidays, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-share platforms will offer a discount to prevent drunk driving. Have the trusted friend you left your itinerary with on speed dial ready to pick you up if need be. Basically, there are too many ways you can get home that don’t involve drinking and driving. Drink a couple of glasses of water with a healthy high-protein snack three hours before wrapping for the night. Avoid taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Aleve, as these can irritate your digestive tract, making you vomit. It is impossible to sober up quickly. All those folk remedies are just placebos. The only thing that will lower your Blood Alcohol Level is time.
Dealing With A Hangover
A hangover is a group of unpleasant symptoms associated with over-drinking. its common symptoms are:
- Nausea and Stomach Pains
- Mood Disturbances
- Difficulty Sleeping and Concentrating
Hangovers usually go away on their own, but there are a few things you can do to reduce them. Drink some warm tea with lemon in the morning to stabilize your blood sugar. Eat a protein and vitamin-C-rich breakfast. Drink juice or a sports drink to replace the electrolytes you lost from all that drinking last night. If possible, walk to work to give your body some fresh air to clean out the systems. Drinking caffeine and cold showers really do nothing to help with a hangover. It just wakes you up faster. If you think an over-the-counter product is helpful to you, then keep using it.