The Four “D”s to Avoid While Drinking (A St. Paddy’s Day Primer)


Hello Cornerites! Last month we looked at hot dates for V-day, so this month we’re going to look at the next important holiday that comes our way (Sorry, George and Abe.) Today we’re looking at four things to keep in mind on St. Patrick’s Day.


Scroll down quickly before you get dizzy!

It’s okay NOT to drink on March 17th. I know, shocker, right? But don’t let the pressure of friends or the expectations of a holiday either make you drink or make you drink more than you would have normally. You don’t need to be one of those people stumbling out of a bar or a house party at 8 a.m. on Monday.

Besides, when we say “consume something green at least once a day,” green beer is NOT what we are talking about.

However, if you are of legal age and choose to drink on Monday  (or any other day), here are some things you should avoid doing drunk.

Don’t Drink and… DRIVE 

Okay, hopefully you’ve heard this one over and over again, but I still want to bring it up first because it’s one of the more dangerous things you can do. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2010 over 1 in 3 drivers that died due to an alcohol-related car crash were under the age of 24. Combine being new to drinking and relatively new to driving, and you’ve got a dangerous situation. PLUS, this one is SO EASY TO PREVENT! If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. If a friend has been drinking, don’t let them drive. There is always another way to get home safely. Call a sober friend, call a cab, take a bus. Call your parents for a ride. You may get in trouble, but that’s cake compared to the consequences that drinking and driving can have. Heck, if you were drinking at a friend’s house, fall asleep there. Maybe you’ll make a new cuddle buddy. There is always an alternative.

Don’t Drink and… DIAL

This one may need an update, so maybe “get DIGITAL” would be better than “DIAL.” The basics stay the same – when someone is drunk their impulsive thoughts come to the front of their mind and they lose the filter of what’s appropriate or not. This means they may end up saying, typing, texting, or posting something impulsively. Maybe along with your car keys, you can keep your phone away from you when you’re drinking. This means you’ll have less of a chance to do something you’ll regret later.Remember: you don’t need to tell that person about your secret crush, or take a sexy picture to make your ex jealous. It can wait until you are sober. Or never. How about never?

Don’t Drink and… DISCUSS

This one is related to DIALing, but has its own quirks, so I thought I would include it here. When you are drunk you do and say things sober you would never dream of. This means that conversations tend towards the oversharing, the angry, or the shameful. Things can also get really awkward when you don’t remember what happened to you the next day, as seen below:

I broke up with my bf he was so drunk that he forgot& showed up to hangout the next day so I had to break up with him again #awkwardbreakup

— Morgan Snapp (@MorganSnapp1) March 7, 2014

Again, if there’s a serious conversation that needs to be had, don’t turn to liquid courage in order to have it. Make sure all parties involved are sober and ready to talk.

Don’t Drink and… DO IT

Just stay on your side of the bed, okay?

Ah-ha, you knew the we would get here eventually. Why shouldn’t sex and drinking go together? Let’s look at 5 reasons:

1)      It’s against the law. Under Michigan law, a person is mentally incapable of giving consent to sexual contact if he or she is temporarily or permanently unable to appraise the nature of his or her conduct. (Mich. Comp. Laws §750.520a.) This means that two people who have been drinking will both be unable to give consent, and there is a real possibility of criminal sexual conduct for one or both parties. Make sure your prospective partner would be as into it when they are sober as they would be drunk.

2)      Your body may not work as you hoped. As Shakespeare put it in Macbeth, “It provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.”  Whether it’s a flaccid not-quite-erection or not-quite-lubricated vagina, drunk sex can often mean painful or awkward attempts at sex.

3)      Who you go home with may not be who you wake up next to. The phrase “beer goggles” exists for a reason. People generally find other people more attractive and fun (and think of themselves as more attractive and fun) when they’ve been drinking. It’s okay to have lower standards, but make that decision consciously.

4)      You may not be as safe as you intended. Unsafe sex happens when you aren’t paying attention. That condom you got for free at the Corner Health Center’s front desk at 47 N. Huron in Ypsilanti may not be as effective when you try to put it on drunk. Or, you may agree to sex with someone when you were on the fence before. Not a great time to make an important decision.

5)      You may throw up. Gross. Nobody wants that anywhere near them, let alone on their bed/body.

So enjoy the holiday with some green clothes, some pinches, and some craic1.

Have Fun. Be Safe.


1Gaelic term meaning news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation.

About Catie Martin

Catie Martin, LMSW is the Corner Health Center's in-house improv master and therapist extraordinaire. Little known fact: therapists with a sense of humor are better than therapists without a sense of humor.

View all posts by Catie Martin →

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