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Posts Tagged ‘St. Patrick’s Day’

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. By Our March Student Pharmacist, Jeremy Church.

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart observe St. Patrick’s Day.

Originally, St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast day to commemorate the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.

Celebrations today are a bit more secular and normally include parades, dancing, traditional Irish dishes, and lots of green. Lent restrictions on food and alcohol consumption are lifted for the day, which has fed the holiday’s tradition of excessive food and drink.

Having a few drinks, or more than a few, has become common for many folks celebrating this holiday. While we do not encourage drinking in excess, to help people understand the facts on alcohol use and health, we’d like to recommend an alcohol fact sheet created by the Centers for Disease Control (click the link at the bottom of the posting to read the CDC’s fact sheet on alcohol).

In the U.S., the standard drink contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. This amount is generally found in:

  • 12-ounces of regular beer or wine cooler
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor
  • 5-ounces of wine
  • 1.5-ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

St. Patrick’s Day is a day when people let loose and have a good time. To stick with the recent tradition associated with St. Patrick’s Day, it may be easy to have alcohol in excess, but please be safe any time you are consuming alcoholic beverages.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks during a single occasion for women or five or more drinks during a single occasion for men. Binge drinking is the most common form of excessive alcohol consumption.

Tips to cure/prevent a hangover

Hydration is key.

Alcohol is a diuretic, and can cause dehydration. Drinking a glass of water with each alcoholic drink or drinking 16-20 ounces of water before bed can help prevent a hangover.

The meal before a big day/night of drinking is more important than the meal the next day. Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol. The longer it takes alcohol to reach the blood stream, the longer it takes to become intoxicated.

If you are still feeling the effects of your drinking the next day, try rehydrating–with water. Drinking more alcohol the next day will just prolong the unavoidable and may cause your headache to be worse.

When treating a headache due to a hangover, use non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). It is safest to avoid acetaminophen (Tylenol) due to the liver already working hard to metabolize alcohol.

Most importantly, if you are going to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, make sure you have a safe way to get home whether it’s a designated driver (DD) or a cab.

Finally, while you do not have to drink on St. Patrick’s Day to have a good time, if you do, be sensible and careful!