Alcohol can do serious damage to a healthy liver, so image what it can do to one that is also fighting viral hepatitis. Avoiding alcohol altogether or trying to cut back can be hard when you are out with your friends. For that reason, and in honor of alcohol awareness month, we are here to help. Here are a few tips to help keep the pressure to drink at bay:
Enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage that looks like a cocktail or beer.
I don’t think your friends are evil people, secretly plotting to sabotage your liver. I’m sure they are just trying to be nice when they offer you a drink, but they probably aren’t thinking about your health. If you are holding a “drink” already they won’t offer to get you a new one. Drink club soda or sparking water in a tumbler with a lime. No one can tell the difference between a rum & coke and just a coke if you put your soda in the same type of cup everyone else is using for their alcohol. Great advice I got once was to use a dark beer bottle. Grab a dark brown or green bottle of beer then head to the bathroom. Once inside the bathroom, pour the beer down the drain and then fill the bottle back up with water. No one will ever know the difference! And if someone does notice, just say “I’m hydrating and didn’t want to waste another cup” and they should leave it at that.
Take it slow.
If you are drinking alcohol, try to slow down how quickly you are drinking to limit the amount of alcohol in your system. Have a glass of water between each drink and take small sips instead of big gulps. Take a break from drinking and grab a snack instead. It’s also very easy to lose track of how much you have had already. Set a limit for yourself before the party and keep count.
Dance, laugh, and chat!
I’m guessing the real reason you are going to a party in the first place is to have fun, right? So concentrate on that. If there’s a dance floor or a band, start dancing - you don’t need a drink to move it! Introduce yourself to someone new, or get lost in a great conversation with your friends. Drinking too much lowers inhibitions and people do embarrassing things they regret later. Being sober can help prevent that, and save you from making a fool of yourself in front of the cute guy or girl you wanted impress.
Shhhh, this “cocktail” is actually just club soda… don’t worry, we won’t tell.
If you want to share your methods to avoid alcohol e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post your ideas (anonymously, of course) for the rest of the readers of VOICE.
April is national alcohol awareness month. If you, a friend, or a family member is struggling with alcohol there is a national hotline you can call to speak to someone anytime.
The Boys Town National HotlineSM is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed by specially trained Boys Town counselors. It is accredited by the American Association of Suicidiology (AAS). Parents, teens and families can find help with the following:
- Suicide prevention
- Sexual abuse
- Parenting troubles
- Physical abuse
- School issues
- Chemical dependency
- Relationship problems
- Emotional abuse
- And much more
Spanish-speaking counselors and translation services, representing more than 140 languages, are available, along with a TDD line (1-800-448-1833) that allows counselors to communicate with speech-impaired and deaf callers.
This myth results from people confusing hepatitis A or hepatitis B – both preventable with vaccines – with hepatitis C. At this time there is NO vaccine to protect against getting hepatitis C. Unfortunately, developing an effective HCV vaccine will be very difficult because the virus constantly mutates. Research is underway, but an effective vaccine is not expected for at least 10 years. Learn about more Hep C myths at: http://www.hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/Myths.pdf
2nd Annual Summit
Saturday, April 14, 2012 ~ 8:30am - 4:30pm
Highline Community College ~ HSU, building 8
Keynote speaker: John Carlos
Athlete. Author. Legend.
Dr. John Carlos is an African American former track and field athlete and professional football player, and a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights.
He won the bronze-medal in the 200 meters race at the 1968 Summer Olympics, where his Black Power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy. He went on to equal the world record in the 100 yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record.
After his track career, he enjoyed brief stints in the National Football League and Canadian Football League but retired due to injury. He became involved with the United States Olympic Committee and helped to organize the 1984 Summer Olympics. He later became a track coach at a high school in Palm Springs, where he now resides. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003.
Visit www.johncarlos68.com to learn more about John Carlos.