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 I. In general
Alcoholic beverages and cocktails are not indicated for:

•   Young people under 18, who have not reached physical maturity.
•   People under conditions that may be affected by alcohol, such as pregnant women.
•   Those suffering from high blood pressure.
•   Those taking medications that do not combine well with alcohol. 
•   Those with a history of addiction or mental illness.

II. Alcohol and driving
Driving is affected even by lower than legal levels of alcohol.
In order to drive safely, it is essential that you have a good vision, good perception of sounds and speedy reaction. Alcohol as a depressant impairs your senses and affects your reaction.

If you drink and drive, you put your physical integrity, and others’, at risk. 
You also run the risk of being arrested and convinced of driving under the effect of alcohol, an experience that includes court costs, higher car insurance rates, fines, loss of the driving license and / or imprisonment.

Driver reaction time
Alcohol’s effect on the brain slows down your reaction time. You need more time to respond to situations and hazards. If you are driving a car (or riding a motorcycle or bicycle), the perception of distance is increased. For example, if a cat runs out in front of the car, there will be a short delay between the time you will see the hazard and the time you will put your foot on the brake. It is estimated that one unit of alcohol can increase the time of distance perception by 20%.
Research shows that a driver who has consumed alcohol, will experience one or all the following behind the wheel:

  • -He will underestimate the distance and the speed of other vehicles on the road.
  • -His vision will be affected.
  • -The reaction time will slow down and 
  • -It is almost certain that he will overestimate his abilities.

 Designated Driver
This is a term used for drivers who don’t drink alcohol, as nominated by a group of friends before they go out, to ensure they get home safely at the end of the night.
If you’re having a small gathering or a party at a friend’s house and planning to drink cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, decide beforehand who’s going to be the designated driver or book a cab ensuring that everyone gets home safely.

 Getting home safely
Getting home safely should be your concern before you start your night out.
►  Make a plan with your friends about the way you will return home.
►  Have enough money with you.
►  Get informed about the timetables of public transportation.
►  Have a taxi phone number with you.
►  Do not return home on your own.
►  If you have to walk home, do not pass through dark or unsafe areas.

 III. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Alcohol is absorbed into blood through the stomach walls and the intestines while a person is drinking. The blood carries the alcohol to the liver, which breaks down the alcohol … while the excessive amount reaches the brain and the other organs. 
A loss of inhibitions is usually one of the first effects. Alcohol is absorbed into blood through the stomach walls and the intestines. The bloodstream carries the alcohol to the brain and then to the liver, which breaks down the alcohol.
The liver can process one unit of alcohol per hour.
The more you drink, the more the BAC increases. Nevertheless, the exact time a body needs to absorb alcohol differs from person to person.
BAC measurements are also used by the police to control how much you have drunk. E.g. BAC 0.05 means that someone has 0,05 gr of alcohol in his body for every 100ml (0.1L) of blood.
The factors affecting the BAC are:
♦  the quantity of food you have eaten,
♦  the time of the day,
♦  your mood,
♦  your metabolism,
♦  the levels of tiredness,
♦  your gender.

 Men
Men’s BAC levels usually increase by 0.02 for each unit of alcohol they take, and decrease by 1 unit of alcohol an hour. The consumption of alcohol with a meal will slow its absorption, giving your liver more time to break it down. Therefore, the BAC recorded will be higher on an empty stomach.

 Women
A woman’s BAC levels usually increase by 0.02 to 0.03 for each unit of alcohol and decrease by ¾ of a unit of alcohol an hour. These rates are higher than men as women are smaller and have more fatty tissue per kg body weight. Men also have more body water and more of the enzyme ADH which breaks down the alcohol in their stomachs; this means that alcohol is more concentrated in their body than in the bodies of women drinking the same amount of alcohol.


 IV. The perfect host of a cocktail party

When you’re having a party, you want your guests to have a great time. 
However, you want to be a responsible host too. 
Here are some simple tips from the Hellenic Association of Drinks Distributors (ENEAP) to enjoy your party without putting anyone at risk: 
Watch the quantities of drinks, don’t be too generous and try to use bar measures and smaller glasses. 
Have water and non-alcoholic drinks available.
Serve food – it helps to absorb the alcohol.
Be careful with the homemade cocktails – use plenty of ice and juice.
If you find that the guests have drunk too much, suggest them (very politely) to have a soft drink. Tell a small lie, e.g. the beer has run out!
Keep an eye on young people and make sure they are OK.
Do not allow a minor under 18 to have an alcoholic beverage.
Make sure everyone can get home safely using a taxi, public transportation or a driver who hasn’t drunk.
Have taxi phone numbers available and, if possible, book in advance.
As host, make sure you give the good example and drink in moderation.

V. Tips for the morning after
If, despite your good intentions, you end up drinking more than you should, there are a few things you can do to feel better in the morning after.
Drink as much water as you can before going to sleep and put a glass of water beside the bed too.
Take an antacid to settle your stomach.
The consumption of alcohol lowers the level of sugar so eat something as soon as you can. Bananas, cereals or an egg with bread are good choices for the morning after.
Have 48 hours without alcohol, if you have drunk too much.
And next time, follow our tips for a great night out and you won’t suffer.