Stay safe and drink sensibly this New Year’s Eve

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EAST MIDLANDS Ambulance Service are encouraging people to stay safe and drink sensibly this New Year’s Eve - a time when services across the region are typically put under pressure treating people who have over-indulged at parties.

Ben Holdaway, Deputy Director of Operations at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “Every New Year’s Eve we see a big increase in 999 calls.

“In the first three hours of this year we received 818 emergency 999 calls - that’s a new call every 15 seconds.

“We want people to enjoy themselves but they must take responsibility for themselves and their friends.

“Many 999 calls on New Year’s Eve could have been avoided if people had drunk alcohol in moderation and taken care.

“If you do drink too much you can expect to experience that horrible morning-after feeling which involves a banging headache, sickness, dizziness, dehydration, tiredness and weakness.

“A hangover does not warrant a 999 call and should be treated at home by drinking as much water as you can before you go to sleep and during the next day, taking a paracetamol or painkiller to treat your headache and antacid to settle your stomach.

“Excessive drinking will damage you, so don’t expect to make a quick recovery - make sure you get plenty of rest and you’ll eventually start to feel more human again.”

Alcohol poisoning is not the only reason drinking too much can land you in hospital. People are more likely to fall and hurt themselves or get injured in fights they would not ordinarily be involved in.

Some people will be responsible and drink sensibly, but unfortunately there are always some people who will overdo it.

If you are worried about your symptoms or need health advice, telephone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or your local out of hours service via your local GP telephone number and they will help you.

Top tips for a hangover-free New Year include:

Enjoy yourself but don’t drink too much,

Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water or fruit juice – this will help to prevent you becoming dehydrated,

Never drink on an empty stomach,

Pace yourself by taking small sips,

Drinking in rounds can mean you end up drinking more than you intended. Opt out and drink at your own pace,

To avoid your drink being tampered with, never leave it unattended,

Know your limits - men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day (a pint of lager

contains 3 units) - women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day (a 250ml glass of wine

contains 3 units).

Dr David Walker, Director of Public Health, NHS Midlands and East, said: “It’s a time for celebration, but nothing ruins the party mood more than starting the New Year in A&E.

“At this time of year hospital and ambulance staff spend a large amount of time dealing with people who are drunk or have had accidents as a result of drinking too much.

“If you keep an eye on how much you drink and are careful not to go overboard, you can save yourself a trip to

hospital, not to mention free up services for those who really need them.”