St. Patrick’s day is a day that is often associated with consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and celebrating out in the streets. While that may not be the case for all, that is definitely the case a vast majority of people here in Ireland. Just to put it into persepective; according to Alcohol Action Ireland

  • 54% of adults who consume alcohol do so at an unhealthy level
  • 75% of all alcohol consumed in Ireland in 2013 was done so as part of a binge drinking session
  • One in eight (13%) men and almost one in ten (9%) women drank their recommended weekly guidelines in one sitting in the week prior to the HRB survey. Among 18-24 year-olds, 28% of men and 22% of women consume weekly guidelines in one sitting
  • Average alcohol consumption in 2010 was 145% higher than the average amount consumed in 1960
  • Irish adults binge drink more than adults in any other European country, with 44 per cent of drinkers stating that they binge drink on a regular basis.

So, if you’re wanting to watch your alcohol intake this Paddy’s day, there’s a couple options…

Paddy’s Day Unlocked 2015

Paddy's Day Unlocked

What does our national day need after all the spectacular efforts of the parades? Drink free zones unlocking our awesome contemporary cultural acts with speakers, Happy Pear food, and with creative play and fun for the little ones?

If you agree come and join us at Meeting House Square 3pm to 7pm after the parade this Paddy’s Day. €5 at the Gate, kids under 12 free.

This Paddy’s Day, Happenings in partnership with Dublin City Council will transform Meeting House Square into a buzzing ‘beerless’ bunker supplied with creativity and culture; new Irish music, mouth-watering local food and inspiring activities for all ages.

What to expect at Paddy’s Day Unlocked…

Join us to make something special happen. Let’s UNLOCK Ireland’s creativity to celebrate our culture and heritage (past, present & future)… unlocked.

And listen up! This isn’t an anti-booze event. It’s not an attack on alcohol or pubs. It’s simply providing an alternative to getting ‘locked’. We all love a party, sure we’re Irish! Find out more here.

Pacing Yourself

Ok, so the Paddy’s Day Unlocked event may not be for everyone. But you can still pace yourself. Drink Aware has some great “survival guides” about how to be safe and watch your drinking during various events like festivals and being in University. Here’s a few of THEIR tips for pacing your drinking this St. Paddy’s Day.

The trick is to avoid rounds and not to succumb to social pressure to keep up with the fastest drinker…

Plan ahead. Think about the night you hope to have…

  • How do you want to feel during the night?
  • How do you want to feel the next morning?
  • How many drinks do you plan to drink that night?
  • How much money do you want to spend?

When you’ve made those decisions, you can pace your drinks over the course of the night and be in good shape to enjoy what you plan to do the following day.

  • Pre-loading” or drinking a lot at the start of the night often means shortening the night – because you’re too wobbly to hit the tiles later on!
  • It’s best to avoid rounds because the pace of the round is usually set by the fastest drinker. Rounds are hard on your pocket, and, these days, there is less pressure to drink in rounds because we’re all under more financial pressure.
  • Ditch the drinking games, they make everyone drink way too much, way too fast. They can have seriously dangerous consequences.
  • Eat before you start drinking – you are less likely to maintain control if drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Intersperse alcoholic drinks with water/soft drinks.
  • Choose lower alcohol alternatives sometimes, switch a pint for a shandy!
  • Measure what you are drinking at home, we forget to do this sometimes. (see their drink calculator for help)
  • Don’t make drinking the only activity, fill your time chatting, laughing, flirting…general socialising!
  • Be the host(ess) with the most(est), if you’re having a few people around wait until your friends are finished their drinks before topping them up (it will help them keep track of what they’ve drank). Always have non-alcoholic alternatives at the ready. Nobody likes a messy house guest!

 Nicole Paulie is a Counselling Psychologist, and co-author of “How to be Happy and Healthy – The seven natural elements of mental health.” Are you worried about your drinking, and would like to schedule an appointment?  Feel free to contact us to find out more.

Drink Free Paddy’s Day?
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