Responsible drinking means that you take precautions with your drinking so that it does not harm yourself, your family, or society at large.
Drinking, like eating, or any social activity, has some guidelines to help the participant get more enjoyment out of the activity. Gobbling down half a chocolate cake at a party would not be considered responsible eating or even polite in most cultures. The same goes for drinking. Responsible choices concerning sensible drinking may mean not drinking, such as when a person is sick, taking medications or being the designated driver. Responsible drinking means that you never have to feel sorry for what has happened while you were drinking. Basically, this means not becoming drunk. The following are some hints to help you drink responsibly and derive more enjoyment and pleasure from drinking if you choose to consume alcohol.
1. Know your limit. If you do not already know how much alcohol you can handle without losing control. Most people find that no more than a drink an hour will keep them in control of the situation and avoid drunkenness.
2. Eat food while you drink. It is particularly good to eat high protein foods such as cheese and peanuts, which help to slow the absorption of alcohol into the circulatory system.
3. Sip your drink. If you gulp a drink for the effect, you are losing a pleasure of drinking, namely tasting and smelling the various flavors. This is particularly true for premium beers and fine wines.
4. Accept a drink only when you really want one. At a party, if someone is trying to force another drink on you, ask for ice or drink a non-alcoholic beverage.
5. Respect the rights of individuals who do not wish to drink. It is considered impolite to attempt to get people to drink who do not wish to. They may abstain for religious or medical reasons, because they are recovering alcoholics, or they just may not like the taste and effect it has on them.
6. Cultivate taste. Choose quality rather than quantity. Learn the names of fine wines, whiskeys, and premium beers. Learn what beverage goes with what foods.
7. Skip a drink now and then. When at a party, have a non-alcoholic drink between the alcoholic one to keep your blood alcohol concentration down. Space your alcoholic drinks out to keep the desired blood alcohol concentration.
8. Be aware of unfamiliar drinks. Such drinks as Long Island Ice Teas, Zombies and other fruit and rum drinks can be deceiving, as the alcohol is not always detectable, and it is difficult to space them out.
9. Make sure that drinking improves social relationships rather than impairs them. Serve alcohol as an adjunct to an activity rather than as the primary focus.
10. Appoint a designated driver. Have someone available who will not be drinking and will drive all drinkers home. This is critical if the person has consumed more than one drink per hour.