If you’re attending a festival, show at a venue or going to a nightclub, chances are that you and your friends will be drinking alcohol at some point during the night. While it is important that someone in your group remain sober if you’re driving to the party, it is also likely that you will be surrounded by friends and strangers who will inevitably consume too much alcohol and become drunk as a result.
By the time someone has become noticeably intoxicated, the alcohol has left their stomach and is being absorbed through the walls of the lower intestine, meaning that they are beyond the point of return. With more than six people dying daily in the U.S. from alcohol poisoning — a total of 2,200 a year — a helping hand is always necessary. It’s important that we not only look out for our immediate friends, but also for any strangers that are at the same party or venue. We are all in it for the music and a thriving dance music scene relies heavily on the spirit of love, respect and camaraderie. It can be the difference between life and death.
1. Determine how much help they need by directly asking. Be supportive and make them realize why you’re concerned.
If they’re incoherent observe their reactions and emotional signals for clues. Each individual’s situation will vary according to the environment and circumstances, but be prepared to care for them until they’re out of danger.
Discourage digesting more as it will only worsen the situation.
2. Offer a hydrating beverage. Water, coconut water (my go-to), or something with electrolytes.
I personally choose coconut water because it’s loaded with antioxidants that help repair and replenish necessary nutrients that get washed away with the consumption of substances and alcohol. It contains about the same amount of potassium as a banana or twice as much as 8 oz of Pedialyte. I drink 16-32 oz of it depending on how dehydrated I’m feeling.
3. Offer your friend food if they are feeling hungry and believe it will help. Oats, bananas, dates, and leafy greens are recommended.
A hot bowl of oatmeal has plenty of essential nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Bananas, dates, and leafy greens contain potassium, an essential electrolyte that is often depleted due to alcohol’s diuretic effect.
Not feeling a salad? Add yogurt, which contains even more potassium, and blend for a hangover-fighting smoothie.
Although eating while drinking is the best way to help diminish a buzz, ensure your friend agrees food will help. I understand it may be hard to find these types of foods at festivals, and especially hard if you’re at a show or nightclub. Luckily these days festivals have plenty of healthy food options available.
Don’t force them to eat as it can cause them to vomit. Fatty foods, contrary to popular knowledge, are better at preventing a hangover than curing one since fried foods are irritants further stress the stomach.
Please note if they are in need of professional help, contact your local medical forces immediately to save a life.
Most importantly, have the common courtesy as a human to lend a helping hand when needed, even and especially if it’s to a stranger who is not getting assistance from anyone around them. It could mean the difference between another night out or a night you utterly regret.
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