Here are some tips to help you have a great night without the sore head or regrets in the morning.

Plan ahead.

It helps to plan how much you're going to drink and over how many hours. Decide how long you will make each drink last

Here's an example:

Pete plans to drink four units (two pints) tonight. He's going out at 9pm and coming back at 11 pm, which is two hours. He works out that this allows him to drink one pint every 60 minutes.

Does 60 minutes sound too long to make your drink last? Try some of these tips:

Pace yourself.

  • Take smaller sips and sip less often. If the drink is in your hand, you're likely to drink it faster, so try putting your glass down on the table or bar after each sip.
  • Don't leave your drink unattended in a pub or club! If you do so, then don't drink from it again - get another one.

Do something else that will distract you.

Go for a meal, play some pool, get absorbed in conversation with your friends or go dancing. You'll forget about drinking and end up having a great night (and the bonus is you'll have good memories in the morning!).

Copy the slow drinker.

Is there someone who you're out with who drinks slower than
you do? Try to drink at the same pace as them and don't pick up your glass until they do.

Enjoy your drink.

Choose drinks for their flavour not their 'kick’. Savour the taste and
don't just knock it back.

Change your drink.

Drinks that remind you of heavy drinking days will give you the
urge to drink like that again. Try a lower strength beer for a change. Be adventurous and try something new but be aware of the strength of what you're drinking.

Add more mixer to spirits.

If you drink spirits, try a different one and make It a long drink with tonic or orange. The longer the drink, the slower the rate of your drinking.

Eat before you drink.

Food helps absorb alcohol so have a nice meal before you go out to the pubs/clubs - it'll give you more energy to enjoy yourself too.

Use 'spacers'.

If you can, try to have 'spacers' (soft drinks) in between alcoholic drinks. It’ll stop you getting dehydrated and you'll have less of a hangover in the morning.

Set a 'drinking budget and stick to it.

Think about how much you're going to drink before you start, take only enough money to buy your 'quota' of drinks (and a bit more to see you home safely).

Avoid rounds.

Drinking In rounds can mean we end up drinking more than we want to. If you can't avoid It then try ordering a soft drink from time to time and when It's your turn to go to the bar.

Sensible Drinking

Our Sensible Drinking booklet has more information and is available in the sidebar of this page. Sensible Drinking is just one in a range of free Alcohol Support and Information leaflets and booklets that can be downloaded here.