1. Plan ahead.
Have a plan. If you think about how much you want to drink before you go out, you’re more likely to stay in the zone.
Make the occasion about more than just drinking too. Plan to take in some sport, play a bit of pool, see a show, or hit the karaoke bar. And always plan how you’re going to get home.
2. Start Slow.
Make sure the night’s not over before you even get out the front door. If you plan to have a few at home before you head out, go for lower-alcohol options and have a good feed too. Remember the average person can only process one standard drink an hour.
3. Eat to last.
Food won’t stop you getting drunk but it will slow the pace at which your body absorbs alcohol. Protein rich foods — like dairy products, meat and eggs — release energy slowly, which means they will do a good job helping your body absorb alcohol over a longer period of time.
4. Got everything?
Your night will go down hill if you leave your party essentials at home. Make sure you’ve got your EFTPOS card, ID, and your phone with the taxi number loaded. A clever trick for managing what you spend is to leave your card at home and take cash only. If you think you might stay at someone else’s place, pack some protection. You don’t want to be caught short and make a bad decision!
5. Keep count.
Count your drinks to make sure you stay in the zone. The average person can process one standard drink per hour, so that’s a pretty good guide for staying in control. Most people pour drinks larger than a standard serve, which means there’s more alcohol than you think in every glass. School up on what a standard drink looks like so you can keep count.
6. Take it slow.
Don’t keep downing drinks until you’re drunk; and don’t try to keep up with other people. You want a good night out, not a ghastly morning after!
If you start saying or doing things you wouldn’t normally, that’s a sure fire sign to stop.
Space your drinks with water (if you’re in a group, introduce the spacer round), choose lower-alcohol options, and stop for a meal to help you last the distance.
7. Safe and Social.
Part of the fun of going out is meeting new people. But you need to stay safe while you’re being social.
Never accept a drink from a stranger. If they offer to shout you, make sure you take the drink from the bartender yourself. And never leave your drink unattended.
If you decide to go home with someone new, make sure a friend knows where you are going and with who, and text them when you get there so they know you are safe.
8. Stick with the pack.
Never wander off alone and make sure your friends don’t either. After a few drinks your judgement will be impaired, and you might quickly find yourself in a sticky situation.
9. Getting Home.
If you’re travelling by car agree who the sober driver will be upfront. If you’re taking taxis, know who you can share a ride with to cut costs. If you plan on walking, have a buddy stay over so you can get home together.
And if you head home alone, text a friend when you get there so they know you’ve arrived safe and sound.
10. The next day.
Your choices determine how you'll feel the next day. If you drink too much, too fast, its likely you’ll end up with a hangover. Have a good meal, space your drinks and stick with your friends, and you'll come up trumps.