As the Christmas party season gets underway, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s director of Public Health is urging people to stay safe during the festive celebrations.
Christmas and New Year is a time to celebrate with family, friends and relatives; however the celebrations can also lead to people drinking more than they normally would, often leading to risky behavior.
Dr Linda de Caestecker is stressing the importance of people looking after themselves – as well as family and friends – while celebrating.
She said: “This is the time of year when many people are out celebrating; however it’s important that people don’t disregard their safety, or health, while they’re out.
“I would appeal to friends to look out for one another to ensure that everyone has a good night, but also gets home safely.
“Be aware of your own alcohol intake and look out for your friends. Consider alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks to stay hydrated and put aside money for a taxi home or make sure you have transport pre-arranged. Also never leave drinks unattended.
“Alcohol and cold weather can be a dangerous combination. It’s a myth that going out into the fresh air sobers people up and alcohol doesn’t heat you up when you are cold.
“When you drink alcohol your face may get flushed and your skin feels warmer, but your body actually quickly loses heat as the blood is rushing to the skin. Your body temperature may fall without you actually realising it, bringing an increased danger of hypothermia.
Linda also points out that getting drunk can also make us more likely to make risky decisions.
“Be it not taking care crossing the road to having unplanned or unprotected sex, alcohol lowers our inhibitions and makes us more likely to take risks.
“Go out and have fun this festive season but make it an evening to remember and not one that you would rather forget.
“Taking care about alcohol and safety and looking after your friends will hopefully result in everyone enjoying a healthy and happy start to 2019.”
Notes to Editors:
One unit is the equivalent of half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.
Drinkline, 0300 123 1110, 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 phone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].