July 6, 2009

Summer is a time to slow down drinking

A U.S. public health expert says drinking related problems, including hangovers, drunk driving and possibly assault, may increase during the summer.

Scott Walters of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston suggests cookouts and other outdoor events may make people see summer as a time-out from normal routines and they tend to drink more.

A better idea is to see summer as a time to slow down -- and that includes taking it easy with alcohol, Walters suggests.

Our research has suggested that people can reduce the amount of problems they encounter by adopting simple drinking strategies to slow or spread out their drinking, Walters says in a statement.

Walters suggests drinking slowly -- rather than gulping or chugging -- and not trying to keep up with the drinking of others.

He also recommends to:

-- Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

-- Drink plenty of water and put extra ice in drinks.

-- Don't mix different types of alcohol. Avoid doing shots of liquor.

-- Eat before or during drinking.

-- Decide ahead the number of drinks to consume and keep track of the number.

-- Pre-select a time to stop drinking.