Welcome to Healthy Exchange ...your quarterly electronic newsletter from ResponseWorks, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Each issue provides information to help you better deal with personal, family or work-related concerns.

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If you’re faced with a problem that seems too hard to solve on your own, your EAP can help you with free, confidential counseling, information or referrals. For more information or to schedule an appointment call: 1-800-301-2265.


Fall 2019 Edition

Co-Use Of Alcohol and Caffeine Can Raise Risks From Intoxication

Drug & Alcohol Abuse

If you drink, you should know that coffee won’t sober you up if you’ve had too much to drink. Instead, a cup of coffee may make it harder for you to realize that you’re drunk. This, according to a study reported in the December 2009 journal Behavioral Neuroscience.

The myth about coffee’s sobering powers is particularly important to debunk, said the researchers, because the co-use of caffeine and alcohol can actually lead to poor decisions with disastrous outcomes. People who have consumed only alcohol, who feel tired and intoxicated, may be more likely to acknowledge that they are drunk. Conversely, people who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine may feel awake and competent enough to handle potentially harmful situations, such as driving while intoxicated or placing themselves in dangerous social situations.

In recent years, alcohol-energy drink combinations have skyrocketed in popularity. The study authors noted evidence that these drinks produce deficits in general cognitive ability and raise the odds of alcohol-related problems such as drunken-driving citations, sexual misconduct, and needing medical assistance.

Tips for drinking wisely (or not at all)

  • Develop a responsible attitude toward drinking. This basically means not becoming drunk. Consider the rights of those who choose to abstain. You don’t need to drink in order to have a good time, even though it has become an accepted part of socializing in this country. If you don’t want to drink, ask for a non-alcoholic beverage. You can be just as sociable with a ginger ale in your hand.
  • Measure your drinks. Five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1-1/2 ounces of spirits is the maximum that a 160-pound man should consume in an hour.
  • Know your limit when you drink. If you drink slowly (instead of gulping), you won’t get drunk as quickly. If your drink somehow vanishes before an hour is up, switch to juice or a soft drink. Don’t accept unfamiliar drinks. They may contain more alcohol than you are used to drinking.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach. When drinking, eat starches, proteins, or fats to keep alcohol from being absorbed too quickly.
  • Never take drugs (even non-prescription ones) in combination with drinking. Alcohol can negate the action of some drugs, can make you sick when combined with others, and can be fatal (for example when you combine alcohol with too many sleeping pills).
  • Never drive after you’ve been drinking. If you must drive, wait at least an hour before driving for each drink you’ve had (equivalent to one beer or one ounce of whiskey).

Your EAP is here to help

If you or a dependent needs help with issues related to alcohol or drug use, contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for FREE and CONFIDENTIAL counseling, referrals or information. We’re here to help you.


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Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to provide medical advice on personal wellness matters. Please consult your physician for medical advice.