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Drink Smart

Tulleeho brings you the following from the ‘Smart Drinking Guide to Responsible Drinking':

What Affects How Drunk You Get ?

When you have been drinking, your blood and alcohol concentration depends upon how much you have drunk and how quickly you drank it. Other factors that affect concentration are:

Your size

If you are small, your blood volume is much less than that of someone who is larger. You are, therefore, likely to be affected more by the same amount of alcohol than someone much larger than you.

Your water level

If you are dehydrated, alcohol will have a much greater effect than if your body’s water concentration is normal. This is why drinking alcohol in the summer or after exercise will affect you more.

Your gender

Women are generally smaller than men and they also have proportionately less body water. Therefore, they are more easily affected by alcohol.

The amount of food in your stomach

If you drink one unit of alcohol on an empty stomach, almost all the alcohol will be absorbed within an hour. However, if there is food in your stomach this process will be slowed down, and the alcohol will reach your brain and other parts of your body more slowly.

How often you drink

People who drink regularly become less affected by alcohol as their bodies get used to it. They then need to drink more for it to have the same effect. This is called developing a tolerance to alcohol.

Top 10 Ways To Turn Down A Drink

“No, thanks!” ( No explanation necessary; your response can be short, sweet and direct. )

“I’ve had enough” ( Again : short, to the point and completely acceptable. )

“Thanks, but I’ve got a ton of work to do later.”

“I’d rather get my own, thanks.”

“I’m allergic to alcohol.”

“I’m driving tonight.”

“I have an important meeting tomorrow.”

“I’m OK for now.” ( Keep a half-filled cup with you, whether you are drinking or not. )

“No thanks, I’m taking medicines that I can’t drink with.”

“I’m dieting….alcohol’s got too many calories.”

Try Saying No with a different twist :

With an invitation…
Leave the option open for the future. “Not now, but maybe later”….”Another time”.

With a friend…
Plan with a friend beforehand what each of you will or will not do, stay with the plan, and stick together. The decision to drink less then becomes kind of a team effort.

With an exit…
Plan to physically relocate in case you feel you are in an uncomfortable situation.

Have a quick one liner up your sleeve, like…
“No thanks, I’m still a little partied out from New Year’s”.
“You know what your problem is ? You think too much about others. It’s time you start making yourself and your needs a top priority”.
“Why – do I seem sober ?”.

Safety And Control Tips

Set a ‘Party Safe’ goal for how many drinks you are going to have. Tell a friend the limit, count your drinks and stick to your goal.

Remember the word HALT. Don’t drink if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.

Don’t gulp your drinks; you’ll get drunk faster. Drink slowly and make it last. Or dilute your drinks.

Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Always eat before you drink…a full meal.

Alternate between alcohol and non-alcohol beverages. Bring your own non-alcohol drink.

Don’t encourage or approve reckless and irresponsible behaviour caused by intoxication.

Before you celebrate, designate. Remember to alternate the designated driver spot with friends.

Remember saying “No” is absolutely fine.

Handling A Medical Emergency

When you are at a party, and someone passes out, the tendency is to laugh about. Things might not be so funny, however. Alcohol poisoning, which is where the unconsciousness comes from, can have more long-lasting effects, and even in cases be fatal.

Danger Signs

1. Try to wake the person : Are they unconscious ? Do they respond to pinching of the skin or shouting their name ?
2. Check their skin colour and temperature : If the person is pale or bluish, or if the skin is cold or clammy, they may not be getting enough oxygen.
3. Check their breathing : If the person is breathing irregularly, with a few breaths and then nothing for a while, or if they are breathing very slowly or shallowly, this a sign that medical attention is necessary.

What Do You Do?

1. Seek emergency medical help if your friend shows any of the above signs.
2. Turn the person on their side and leave them only if necessary to call for medical assistance. If the person is on his or her side they may not choke if they get sick and vomit. Don’t let them roll over onto their back.

What Shouldn’t You Do?

1. Don’t assume your semi-conscious or unconscious friend will be OK sleeping it off.
2. Don’t let fear about how your friend may respond tomorrow prevent you from acting and getting help when they need it. It may be the greatest thing you could ever do in the name of friendship.
3. By the way, the best way to handle the situation is to stop it before it happens to a friend or to yourself.

Cool Party, Responsible Host

Having as party can be great fun, especially when everyone thinks you are a cool host or hostess. However, if you truly are a good host, you know that the responsibility for the well-being of your guests is yours entirely. (In some countries, the host of the party is legally liable for the actions of his or her guests. Here, your conscience will have to pay.) To make sure that the effects of alcohol consumption do not take an unpleasant toll, keep these tips in mind for a cool party with a responsible host.

Have a responsible person who does not drink take care of the bartending. Do not leave it to a paid server alone. If you do have a professional bartender, make sure s/he is trained in how to be a responsible one.

Use peg measures for pouring drinks, so everyone gets normal-sized drinks.

Make sure people who are being served are not already inebriated.

Serve healthy snacks that contain carbohydrates so that people don’t drink on an empty stomach.

Serve dinner early so that people can eat and then drink for as long as they like.

Let people know early on in the party that you believe in being a responsible host/hostess.

Make sure that there are plenty of attractive options for non-drinkers. Most people overlook teetotaler guests.

Do not let intoxicated persons leave your party in the driving seat. Keep their car keys and get them a taxi instead. Or have a friend who’s sober drop them home. Or get them to stay the night. Don’t let them drive.

Promote the designated driver system. Give guests who are the designate drivers at your party special identification and treat them as special in creative ways. Instruct servers not to serve them any alcohol, and reward them in some way that makes other people appreciate their role.

When someone declines a drink, respect their choice and don’t pressurize. People must have the option of not drinking if they don’t want to.

Prevent people from gulping down their drinks too fast. Remember, your liver can handle only one ‘standard’ drink per hour on an average — drinking at a faster speed is more likely to get you inebriated.

Do not condone or encourage any excessive alcohol consumption. It isn’t ‘cool’ to see people kill themselves or others. Or even make fools of themselves. If you are a real friend, you will try to prevent this from happening.

Do You Have A Problem ?

Sometimes people wonder: Do I drink too much ? Am I in control of my drinking ? Am I setting myself up for drinking-related problems ? The following questions are designed to help you identify drinking habits that may cause problems for you. Answer honestly; no one but you will know the score.

Have you left office early so you can party or just drink?

Have you missed work or been late because of a hangover?

Have you done poorly at some project, meeting or interview because you drank too much the night before ?

When drinking, have you ever done something for which you were later sorry or embarrassed ?

Have you ever ‘blacked out’ while drinking ? A blackout is not just a memory loss — that happens in intoxication also — but “memory loss for a period when the patient was not outwardly intoxicated ( shivering, unsteady etc. ) and was to all extents and purposes behaving ‘normally’, yet does not remember what he/she did/said!”

Do you frequently drink until you are drunk? Do you drink to get drunk ?

Do you find that most of your friends also drink a lot?

Have you ever had problems with friends, family, colleagues, superiors, or the law as a result of drinking?

Is drinking affecting your reputation?

Does it bother you when other people say you drink too much ?

Do people say that you “Can hold a drink well” or put down large amounts without getting intoxicated? This is not something to be proud of but rather an alarming warning sign!

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, stop and think for a moment. You may be doing yourself some harm. Maybe it’s time to talk to someone, get some information.A good rule of thumb to keep in mind : What CAUSES a problem IS a problem.

Drinking and Pregnancy

Drinking Can Hurt Your Baby

When you are pregnant, your baby grows inside you. Everything you eat and drink while you are pregnant affects your baby. If you drink alcohol, it can hurt your baby’s growth. Your baby may have physical and behavioural problems that can last for the rest of his or her life. Children born with the most serious problems caused by alcohol have foetal alcohol syndrome. Children with foetal alcohol syndrome may :

Be born small; have abnormalities of the head.

Have problems eating and sleeping.

Have problems seeing and hearing.

Have trouble following directions and learning how to do simple things.

Need special teachers and schools.

Have trouble getting along with others and controlling their behaviour.

Need medical care all their lives.

Drinking And Driving

Drinking And Driving Don’t Mix

Many of the effects of drinking alcohol that make people feel relaxed and happy also affect how well they can drive; their chances of having a road accident are much higher. Drinking alcohol affects the body in the following ways:

You cannot coordinate and control your muscles as well as you can normally.

It takes longer to react, so it is more difficult to deal with something happening on the road that you didn’t expect.

You are less able to judge speed and distance. Alcohol can also affect people’s judgements and emotions.

When they have been drinking, people often think they are fit to drive when they are not or think that they are driving much better than they really are.

They often feel more daring and reckless, making them more likely to drive much faster.

The legal limit

As per the Indian Motor Vehicles Act 1988, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 30mg in 100 ml of blood is illegal anywhere in India. In the USA and many countries in Europe the limit is 10 mg in 100 ml of blood. They are much stricter. This limit was chosen becuase there is a much higher risk of having an accident above it; but even at the legal limit you could be more likely to have an accident than if you hadn’t drunk at all! There are no safe guidelines on how much you can drink before you go above the limit because, as we already know, the amount is very different for each person. So the safest thing is not to drink any alcohol at all before driving.

The ‘Topping-Up’ Effect

Alcohol is removed from the body at a steady rate by the liver. A person who has been drinking during the day might, towards the evening, be feeling much more sober, but he could still have a reasonably high concentration of alcohol in his blood. So much so that just one more drink in the evening may be enough to put him over the legal limit. This is known as the topping-up effect. The topping-up effect, means that it isn’t what you have just drunk that matters – it is the total amount drunk that matters – it is the total amount drunk over the previous 12 hours or more.

The fact that alcohol is removed from the body so slowly has another important effect. If someone has had a binge-drinking session, it could be well into the next afternoon before all the alcohol has been removed from the body. This means that many people who drive to work in the morning, after a heavy drinking session the night before, are over the limit and their judgement on the roads is likely to be affected.

Avoiding Drinking and Driving

Most drinking and driving happens when people are trying to get home late at night after going out to a club or party. If you can’t avoid driving make sure you stick to soft or non-alcoholic drinks. With a little planning, it is possible to avoid getting into a situation where you and others are tempted to take a chance. If you think you are going to drink you can, for example:

Leave your car or motorcycle behind and go with a driver who is not drinking.

Use public transport.

Arrange to come home by taxi.

Organise somewhere to stay if you can’t arrange for a lift home.

Take it in turns to be the ‘designated driver’, if you are a member of a regular group.

If you are giving a party, make sure you have some non-alcoholic drinks for drivers. Finally, if someone who has been drinking looks as if they are going to drive home, you should do your best to prevent them, even confiscating their car keys if necessary. Remember — people’s lives.

For those of you in Mumbai, there’s a fantastic service called Party Hard Drivers that perfectly solves the issue of drinking and driving : you drink, they drive. Please use their services the next time you’re planning to have a drink and need to drive. Visit their site here : www.partyharddrivers.com

Hangovers & How to Avoid them

What alcohol does to you and What causes a hangover …

It is perhaps a very stupid thing to ask anybody how it feels when you have a hangover, but the fact is that many of us don’t really know what exactly a hangover is. A hangover is basically the aftermath of consuming alcohol.

After you ingest alcohol, your body breaks it down into (among other things) acetaldehyde, before converting it into less harmful substances. At the same time a host of depleted minerals are short-circuiting your nervous system, and that’s in addition to the classic headache-and-dry-mouth symptoms caused by dehydration. The result: nausea, twitchy nerves, unpleasantness, pessimism, terrible brain pain, and a temporary suspension of the laws of gravity (also incapability of sustaining erections.) This is caused due to the acetaldehyde’s reaction with the nerve cells of the brain which then send confused signals to the rest of the body doubled with a lazy, more laid back attitude of the person. This is how we get the relaxing feeling once we have alcohol.

However , all alcoholic beverages which have fermented spirits in them ,contain congeners, which are small particles which emanate when grapes, apples, wheat or malt is fermented. While other products of the spirit are filtered out in the process of it becoming the wine or spirit it now is, the congeners remain due to their ability to survive and also because of their miniscule size. These congeners then cause a hangover which is nothing but a headache (sometimes even a body ache). This is because the body, built the way it is, cannot destroy these small particles. These congeners then intervene with the normal functioning of the body and hence the hangover.

How do I know if I have a hangover ? (stupid question)

A hangover is the kind of feeling you would get when you’ve done about 20 laps of a field in Siberia with only your boxers on . A feverish feeling along with acute backache, headache and ache in the thighs/legs are the most common symptoms of a hangover. Besides these, a person would find himself groggy and wanting to go back to sleep even after what would normally be a good night’s rest. Occasionally a feeling of vomitting is also likely.

Also you would know if you have a hangover if the sight of the leftover bottle of whisky from the night before makes you feel sick.

The severity of a hangover varies according to . . .

a) The amount you’ve guzzled in a relative period of time. The more you drink in a short amount of time, the more you’ll feel the alcohol.
b) Your own innate capacity to deal with the poisons (if we choose to call them that) eg. the less you weigh, the more you’ll feel it.
c) Your age .The older you get, the more you’ll feel the alcohol the next morning.

Now that we know what exactly the alcohol does to your body we might as well settle down and see what we, as mere mortals can do about it (believe us there is a lot).

Preventing Hangovers

What to do before you go for the night out, the actual act, and the morning after..

1) Stuff yourself a bit before you start drinking. Launch your night at the pub with a double order of French fries or a Hamburger. The moderating effect this will have on the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream in the short term may be more important than the clogged arteries in the long term. The reason that food is so important is because it’ll soak up the alcohol so that it doesn’t all go directly into the bloodstream.

2) Hydrate your body. Prevention is always better that the cure. Sure, you’ll probably still wake up at 4 a.m. with a dry tongue and a desperate compulsion to hang your head from the side of the bed, but every glass of juice or water you force yourself to swallow now is worth two in the morning. Everyone knows that alcohol acts as a diuretic. In case that frequent hob-nobbing with the urinal didn’t tip you off, more is going out than coming in and that is not a good thing at all. You need to replace that liquid. Also avoid consuming synthetic beverages like colas and other aerated drinks at this time.

3) Choose your poison carefully. There are nasty heady chemicals known to mankind called congeners, (as we talked about earlier) occurring naturally in all fermented drinks. Generally the rule is the darker the drink the more these troublemakers. So you are the least likely to get a hangover with white spirits and the most with dark rum and brandy. On a scale of least (the less likely to result in a hangover) to most (to give that head kicked in by an elephant feeling) these are:

– Vodka
– Gin
– Scotch
– Single Malts
– Brandy
– Rum

For non-spirits, the list is:

– White wine
– Beer
– Lager
– Cider
– Red wine
– Port

Also cheaper brands have more congeners. Avoid if you hate the hung-over feeling.

4) Re-hydrate your body. Once you are back home, take a leak (saves at least one nocturnal trip to the loo). Drink what you feel would be twice the amount of liquid you just parted with. This would be unpleasant but really necessary for you to be able to go to work the next morning.

5) Extremely important is to avoid painkillers or analgesics at this moment. Many people devour them as a preventive measure but the actual effect of these is exactly the opposite. All recipes and cures mentioned henceforth are strictly for the morning after.

6) The morning after. Eat your rice, grains, cereals, peas & nuts. Okay not your nuts, but the real nuts. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and nicotine. Also try and drink as much fresh juice as you can.

REMEDIES

THE CHEMICAL CURE
There are several things that you can put into your body to ease the pain and assist rapid recovery, including a little-known substance called cysteine. Cysteine directly counteracts the poisonous effects of acetaldehyde. However the availability of the substance in India is not something you could boast about. However if you are able to lay your hands on it take the following recipe for a sure shot cure to the worst of hangovers :

1. Take 2 aspirins
2. Take 200mg cysteine (available at select drug stores)
3. Take 600mg vitamin C
4. Take 1 tablet vitamin B-complex
Sit back and watch the science of medicine at its best.

THE HOMEMADE CURE

1 banana
6 large strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup orange juice
1-2 cups milk
¼ tsp. salt
dash of nutmeg powder
Mix in a blender and Drink it all up.

The “FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY” CURE

A drop of rose oil on the temples dilates your capillaries and boosts the blood flow to your brain. Could there be a sweeter way to ease a headache?

THE “FREAKY AS HELL” CURE
Tulleeho’s Hangover Cocktail.
(We take no responsibility if this makes you feel worse than you already do).

1 large can of tomato juice
3 Tbs Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ajeenomoto
1 lemon
2 pickled olives (subject to availability)
1 small portion anardana churan
4 slices of onion.
1 finely chopped garlic
3 Tbs sugar
Some chopped mint
3 Tsp capsico Sauce
Salt and Pepper
(makes it a helluva weird descendant of a virgin mary)

Mix ingredients in a container, allow to stand for as long as possible, preferably overnight although that means actually predicting a hangover. Which of course is impossible. Strain and Serve.

THE “CONVENIENT FOR ALL” CURE

The best way however to avoid a hangover remains to stay drunk! After all that’s what we are all about. (hic..)

Tulleeho!!!
by Varun Cheemra

Disclaimer: None of the material in these pages is meant to be construed as medical advice. Please contact your registered medical practitioner if you need the same.

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