Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines are a starting place for young adults to assess their drinking. These guidelines are based on the average person but the effects of alcohol vary greatly from one person to another so it’s important to know yourself. Weight and size, genetics, family history, mixing alcohol with other substances or medications, stress, hunger and lack of sleep can all change the way alcohol affects you.
Say Nope to Drinking Games
Drinking games are a big part of binge drinking culture. Beer Pong, Sociables or King’s Cup, Boat Race are all methods of getting a party started. Like you, we’ve been there and we know it’s tough to say “nope”. No one wants to be ‘that guy’ who gets shamed for sitting out, but here are a couple things to remember when you’re saying “no thanks”:
You’re not alone.
If you’re at a gathering where people are playing games, chances are you’re not the only one who doesn’t want to participate and is feeling the pressure. Which brings us to our next point…
Without a group, there is no game.
If you say no and others follow, the game will stop. It’s a lot easier to stand up against these silly games when like-minded people are on your side. Voice your opinion and there’s a good possibility others will be right behind you. Then voila! No group, no game. And you can safely get on with your night.
Don’t be intimidated.
Voicing your opinion and going against the grain are difficult but you can hold your ground. If your friends make fun of you or try to pressure you into participating, don’t back down. Be assertive and take control of the situation. Let them know that what they’re doing makes you uncomfortable. You might be surprised at how much influence you have.
"At what age is it okay to start drinking?"
Young people should wait until they are at least 18 or older years to drink alcohol and always follow the laws for the legal drinking age where you live. Drinking at a younger age can affect your general health, physical growth, emotional development, ability to make good decisions, and schoolwork.
Ways to check yourself (before you wreck yourself)
Excessive drinking can have a huge impact on your social life, from waking up with an empty wallet, to blacking out at the party of the year, or even making life-altering decisions you’ll regret later. Here are tips to help you keep control of your night:
- Know your limit and stay within it. (It rhymes so it’s easy to remember!)
- Eat food before, and while, you drink
- Sip your drinks and space them out
- Keep track of your wallet and your hard-earned cash
- Alternate between alcoholic drinks and water or something non-alcoholic
- Beware of unfamiliar drinks or taking drinks from people you don’t know
- Appoint a designated driver or plan your transportation ahead
- Respect the rights of partygoers who don’t want to drink
- Avoid drinking games
- When ordering a drink at the bar, watch the bartender make it so you know what’s in it
- Alcohol and sex do not mix — drunk sex is not consensual sex
- Alcohol and drugs do not mix
- If you are pregnant, might be pregnant or attempting to become pregnant do not consume alcoholic beverages – Zero alcohol means zero risk to baby