At a time when ambulance services across the region are put under pressure treating people who have over-indulged at parties, Marcus Bailey, consultant paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) talks about the effects of drinking too much alcohol.
“Drinking too much alcohol is not the only reason that can lead to you spending New Year in A&E, people are more likely to fall and hurt themselves or get injured in fights than they would normally be. Some people will be responsible and drink sensibly, but sadly there are always some people who will overdo it.”
Marcus’s top tips for a hangover-free New Year are:
• Enjoy yourself but don’t drink too much
• Keep hydrated and alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water or fruit juice to help avoid a hangover
• Never drink on an empty stomach, have something to eat before you start
• Pace yourself by taking small sips
• Play safe as part of a group and stick with your mates
• Opt out of rounds and drink at your own pace
• Don’t leave your drink unattended to avoid it being tampered with
• Know your limits: men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day (a pint of larger contains 3 units); women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day (a 250ml glass of wine contains 3 units).
“It’s a time for celebration, but nothing ruins the party mood more than starting the New Year in A&E. At this time of year ambulance staff spend a large amount of time dealing with people who are drunk or have had accidents as a result of drinking too much.
“If you keep an eye on how much you drink and are careful not to go overboard, you can save yourself a trip to hospital, not to mention free up services for those who really need them.
“And finally, if you do have a few too many, be prepared with some home remedies such as paracetamol, drink plenty of fluids (fruit juice, squash, water, tea) and rest until you feel better”.
If you are worried about your symptoms or need health advice, telephone NHS 111 and they will help you.