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7 Times when You Should Avoid Alcohol ...

There are a number of times when you should avoid alcohol. Most of us enjoy a drink, but it's not always safe or advisable to have any alcoholic drinks. In these situations, you should probably pass, as a drink is not essential; if you 'need' a drink then you may have a problem! Here are some of the times when you should avoid alcohol …

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1. Medication

One of the times when you should avoid alcohol is if you're taking medication. Some medicines like antidepressants can intensify the effect of alcohol and so are contraindicated. Always read the leaflet with prescribed medication and consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are in any doubts as to whether it's safe to drink while you're taking a course of medication.

2. Driving

You might think that it's safe to drink a small amount if you're driving, but honestly it's not worth the risk. Your judgement could be impaired even though you think that you're fine. In some states the blood alcohol level is very low, and you could easily lose your license. And above all, it's not worth risking the lives of others.

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3. Flying

We've heard a lot of stories lately about drunken passengers causing havoc on planes. Some nervous flyers like to have a drink before departure to calm their nerves, but it's a bad idea. However, the effect of alcohol on the body is intensified when flying, for a number of reasons. So it's best to pass on the alcohol both before and during the flight.

4. Pregnancy

Some doctors now believe that a pregnant woman can take a small amount of alcohol without causing harm to the unborn child. But while you may be able to get away with the occasional small glass of wine during your pregnancy, playing it safe is not going to deprive you - drinking isn't necessary at any time in your life, and especially not while you're pregnant.

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5. Going Home Alone

Going for a night out? If you're heading home on your own, keep your alcohol intake down so that you're aware and in control of yourself, especially if you're going to be using public transport. It's all too easy to make mistakes if you're befuddled by alcohol, and get on the wrong bus or mix up your trains.

6. Mental Health

Mental health issues can mean that it's not wise to take alcohol. Alcohol acts as a depressant, in spite of people thinking that a drink makes them feel better. But in fact it can reduce your levels of serotonin, which is not going to help your mood. It will also affect your brain chemistry in other ways. And it can make you feel a whole lot worse.

7. You Haven't Eaten

Don't be tempted to have a drink if you haven't yet eaten. The effects will be intensified on an empty stomach, so wait until you've at least had a snack before having a drink. Even better, have a decent meal first.

We've come to think that no social occasion is complete without alcohol, which should not be the case. Alcohol isn't essential for any reason, and sometimes is best avoided. When in doubt, abstain - you'll still have a good time without it. Have you ever been pressured to drink by your friends?

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