As the festive party season gets underway, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Public Health, Dr Linda de Caestecker, is urging people to stay safe during the party season.
The festive and New Year party season is a time to celebrate with family, friends and relatives, but the celebrations can also mean drinking more than usual.
Dr de Caestecker thinks it is important that people look after themselves when they are out and about at their Xmas and New Year parties.
She said: “This is the time of year when many people are out in the city centre celebrating with family and friends.
“It should be a happy and enjoyable time but it can also be a time when you can put yourself at risk of serious harm by drinking too much and not paying attention to your and your friends' safety.
“Alcohol and the cold are a dangerous combination, because contrary to popular belief going out into the fresh air does not sober you up. Neither does alcohol “heat you up” when you are cold. When you drink alcohol your face may get flushed and your skin get warm but your body is actually losing heat more quickly because the blood is rushing to the skin. The body’s normal protective response to cold is inhibited by alcohol, allowing your body temperature to decrease more quickly, bringing an increased danger of hypothermia. Your body temperature may decrease without you actually realising it.
“I would ask people to think about their safety as well as their health as they go out.
“I would appeal to friends to look out for one another to ensure that everyone not only enjoys their evening but also gets home safely. Go out and have fun this festive season but make it an evening to remember not one to forget."
Dr de Caestecker is urging people to keep safe by staying with the group they are celebrating with, and looking after any friends who may have had too much to drink.
She added: “Be aware of your own alcohol intake and look out for your friends as well and make sure everyone gets home safely.
“Don’t leave your drink unattended in case someone tries to spike it, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.
“Be sure to have a meal before or during a night out because food slows down the absorption of alcohol and consider alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks. Also put aside money for a taxi home.
“All these steps will hopefully result in a healthy and happy start to 2015.”
Notes to Editors:
One unit is the equivalent of half a pint of beer or lager or a small glass of wine.
Drinkline, 0800 917 8282, is a free and confidential telephone helpline for people who need help or support with their own or someone else’s drinking, and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].