Enjoying a drink and socialising doesn’t mean you have to wake up with a hangover the next day. At Alcohol&Me we want to help kiwis to make the choices that are right for them when it comes to alcohol, so here is a handy guide to help you last the distance in style when you are out and about socialising this silly season.

Plan ahead

Think about how you want the occasion to shape up before it begins and put plans in place to make it happen

  • Think about how much you want to drink – do you want to last the distance or become a drain on the group?
  • Make the occasion about more than just drinking too. Plan to take in some sport, play a bit of pool, see a show, or hit the karaoke bar.
  • Know how you are going to get home – If you’re travelling by car agree who the sober driver will be upfront. If you’re taking taxis, know who you can share a ride with to cut costs. If you plan on walking, have a buddy stay over so you can get home together.
Got everything?
  • Your night will go down hill if you leave your party essentials at home so make sure you’ve packed your pockets or bag with everything you need to have a good time – EFTPOS card, ID, your phone with the taxi number loaded.
  • If you think you might stay at someone else’s place, pack what you need and drop it off at their place in advance. You don’t want to be caught short and make a bad decision!


Pace & Space

The adult human liver can only process one standard drink an hour (and that is not necessarily one bottle or glass). If you drink more than this, the alcohol will start to back up in your system and your reactions/reasoning will be compromised. Stay in the zone by:

  • Being aware of the size of your drinks and how strong they are. If you plan to have a few at home before you head out, maybe go for lower-alcohol options so you don’t peak to early
  • Spacing your drinks with something non-alcoholic. You might even think about introducing a “spacer round” where everyone has a glass of water
  • Don’t try and keep up with other people. Drink at your own pace – #YouDrinkYou
  • Be aware of your glass being topped up


Eat to Last:

Food is not going to stop you getting drunk, but it will help to slow the pace at which your body absorbs alcohol.

  • Protein rich foods release energy slowly, which means they will do a good job helping our body to absorb alcohol over a longer period of time.
  • Good choices are eggs, meat and dairy products – think omelettes, burgers, hotdogs and cheese
Keep count
  • Count your drinks to make sure you stay in the zone.
  • Remember, your body can process one standard drink per hour, so that’s a pretty good guide for staying in control.
  • Most people pour drinks larger than a standard serve, which means there’s more alcohol than you think in every glass. School up on what a standard drink looks like here so you can keep count and last the distance in style.


Take it slowly
  • Don’t keep downing drinks until you’re drunk; and don’t try to keep up with other people. You want a good night out, not a ghastly morning after!
  • If you start saying or doing things you wouldn’t normally do, that’s a sure fire sign to slow down.
  • Space your drinks with water, choose lower-alcohol options, and stop for a meal to help you remember the night for all the right reasons.
Stick with the pack:

Part of the fun of going out is meeting new people. But you need to stay safe while you’re being social. Your judgement will be impaired after a few drinks, so one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and others safe is to stay together in a group:

  • Never wander off alone and make sure your friends don’t either
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger unless you see it being made and/or served
  • If you decided to go home with someone new, make sure a friend knows where you are going and who with, and txt them when you get there


Quit while you are ahead:

Don’t pass out; pass in instead. Know when it is time to retire and action your plan for getting home. Remember, if you do head home alone, txt a friend when you get there so they know you’ve arrived safe and sound.

Your choices determine how you’ll feel the next day. If you drink too much, too fast, its likely you’ll end up with a hangover. Have a good meal, space your drinks and stick with your friends – your body will thank you for it the next day!

You can download all this info on our handy 1-page ‘Survivors Guide’ infographic here.

For more practical tips and ideas for surviving a big night out, check out this short video and feel free to share any of your survival suggestions with us @alcoholandme.org.nz.

Remember: you can have a great time without drinking alcohol, so you should never feel like you must drink if you don’t want to. Never put pressure on others to drink and don’t feel pressured yourself. #YouDrinkYou

Here cheers to keeping it classy this Christmas!!