Celebrating this long weekend? Know what you're in for and use these 10 tips
to reduce alcohol-related risks!

TORONTO, May 17 /CNW/ - The Victoria Day long weekend marks the beginning of the summer season and, like many Ontarians, you may be planning to celebrate with family and friends. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) reminds you to celebrate safely and minimize the risks related to alcohol use. CAMH has alcohol expert Dr. Robert Mann available for media interview and has developed ten tips for hosting a party safely.

Available for interview:

Dr. Robert Mann, Senior Scientist in CAMH's Social Prevention and Health Policy Research Department.

Dr. Mann focuses his research on the identification of factors that increase and decrease alcohol and drug problems. He has studied the epidemiology of alcohol-related problems (e.g., deaths from drunk driving, liver disease, suicide, and homicide) as well as individual, environmental, and social factors that influence them, including policy and legislation.

The provincial government has been enforcing for the past year new legislation regarding drinking and driving. The legislation increased the penalties for those caught with Blood Alcohol Levels in the Warn range (.05% to .08%) including longer license suspensions, fines, and alcohol education and treatment.

CAMH's 10 Tips for Hosting a Party Safely

    
    1.  Don't drink too much yourself! You can stay on top of potential
        problems better when you can think clearly and act quickly.
    2.  Plan ahead.
    3.  Find out how guests will be going home from your party. Be prepared
        to take away car keys. Know your designated drivers. Have cash and
        phone numbers ready for taxis.
    4.  Plan to deal with guests who drink too much. Ask someone to be
        prepared to help you before the party gets rolling.
    5.  Serve drinks yourself instead of having an open bar. Avoid doubles.
        Guests usually drink more when they serve themselves.
    6.  Be prepared for overnight guests. Get those blankets and sleeping
        bags ready.
    7.  Serve snacks! It is better to eat while drinking than to drink on an
        empty stomach. Try veggies, cheeses and light dips - they're healthy
        and don't make your guests thirsty, as salty, sweet or greasy foods
        do.
    8.  Have low-alcohol and alcohol-free cocktails and drinks available too.
        How about a non-alcoholic punch?
    9.  Don't plan physical activities, like swimming or water-skiing when
        you serve alcohol. People are more prone to mishaps when they've been
        drinking.
    10. Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the party is over. Bring out
        more alcohol-free drinks and food.
    

More and more, courts are placing legal responsibility on people who serve alcohol or host events where guests are drinking. If you plan ahead, you can lower both your risk and your guests' risks of having problems.

If you are hosting a party you are responsible for the safety of your guests which includes:

    
    -   injuries or damages that occur as a result of the alcohol you
        provide;
    -   what happens to guests when they are in your home or on your
        property.
    

Why take chances? Follow the tips listed above to reduce your risk and make your party a safe one.

For more information about alcohol and other drugs call the CAMH McLaughlin Information Centre at 1-800-463-6273. In Toronto, call 416-595-6111.

These tips were developed in collaboration with the LCBO.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre

SOURCE Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, (416) 595-6015 or email media@camh.net


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