Enjoy the craic and drink safely this St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick's Day alcohol advice

Ahead of St Patrick’s Day the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging anyone who chooses to drink to do so safely and enjoy the craic.

Many people drink alcohol as part of their St Patrick’s Day celebrations so the PHA is saying to those people to keep an eye on how much they’re drinking, make a plan by setting a sensible limit and stick to it.

Kevin Bailey, Regional Lead for Drugs and Alcohol at the PHA, said: “Many people will be making plans to meet up with their friends and family to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and we are encouraging them to keep an eye on their alcohol intake should they choose to drink.

“By setting a plan, you can avoid binge drinking which has been shown to have adverse effects on our health and safety. It can cause damage to the liver, heart, brain and stomach and over-indulging in alcohol can also affect relationships and spoil the holiday for you, your family and friends.

“Remember, you don’t need alcohol to have a good time, but if you do decide to drink, know your limits.

“It can be difficult when you feel under pressure in a group to have ‘just one more’ but keep an eye on what you’re drinking, let others know that you’re sticking to it and that can help.”

If you do decide to drink alcohol over the over the St Patrick’s Day holiday, try to follow these simple tips: 

  • Always look after yourself and know what your limits are;
  • Have something to eat before you start drinking to slow down the absorption of alcohol;
  • Alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink; for example water or a soft drink;
  • Take frequent five-minute breaks from drinking to give your body time to recover;
  • Avoid drinking in rounds or having a kitty as this may result in you drinking more;
  • Keep track of your drinks and don’t let anyone top up your drink until it’s finished; 
  • If a friend does drink too much, don't leave them alone or let them wander off, encourage them to re-hydrate with non-alcoholic drinks, stick together and plan how to get home in advance.

 If you think you might have a problem with alcohol and/ or drugs and would like to get help please visit www.DrugsAndAlcoholNI.info for information on support services near you.

There is also a range of services available to you if you are affected by someone else’s drinking and/or drug misuse, information on these services are also available on this website. These services are available to you regardless of whether or not your loved one is receiving help for his or her alcohol and/ or drug problem.