Drinking and peer pressure

okay, so I know that at parties there is liquor everywhere depending on where you go. I heard that alcohol can really boost your blood sugar levels just like a soda. and when you go to a party (especially a high school party) EVERYBODY is drinking and having fun, what do you do about the struggle of not drinking, or if you do what do you drink and what do you do about insulin?

this is going to sound really dumb, sorry, so here goes:

“drink responsibly”, while overused in every ridiculous commercial ever made, to me it means something more serious. Drinking can effect your decision making, low blood sugar can affect your decision making, together it can be really dangerous. Low blood sugar and severe intoxication can seem the same, especially to police and people that don’t know you, if you pass out and the geniuses you are with let you “sleep it off” you could die.

have a buddy that knows you - can save your life if you get into trouble.

hard liquor will tend drop your blood sugar, mixed drinks with juice or soda will raise it, wine for me is neutral, beer tends to have carbs and tends to raise blood sugar slowly; and just like eating pizza you have to kind of learn on the job. The penalty for failure is just higher so go slow and try not to get hurt. I won’t address the legal or moral issues, just the diabetes part. be smart. good luck.

Here’s the thing…“drink responsibly” means different things for a T1! Alcohol not only dulls the senses, but also severely drops your BG, so the more you drink, the more likely you can run into problems. Like it or not, we have to keep our wits about us at all times, which includes drinking in moderation. I usually have one cocktail once or twice per week. I’m not young anymore, so that totally works for me, but even when I was younger, I kept it to 1-2 drinks maybe 2 or 3 times per week. Make sure to drink a glass of water between your drinks, and munch on something like a few fries or some pretzels to offset the BG drop that will start 2-3 hours after you drink. Then maybe set an alarm to check your BG in middle of the night, because it can sneak up on you.

If you don’t want to drink don’t worry about it and just don’t. Throw down your d-card or if you feel self conscious just put a diet soda or club soda in a red plastic cup and most people will assume you mixed it with something, if they ask just lie and say you mixed it with vodka or something. Or volunteer to be DD.
If you do want to drink (you want the experience or whatever, no judgement) then:

My experience with alcohol:

Beer and mixed drinks raise.

Hard alcohol by it’s self and with diet colas and wine lowers.

A lot also depends on how much you drink and if you’re eating too. Limit how much you drink to no more than 2 drinks, eat protein snacks with it, be sure to check your bg every hour or two and if you have a low have something on hand and like Joe said, have a friend with you that you know will have you’re back if something happens.
And be aware that you’re glucagon pen won’t work if you’re drinking (you’re liver is too busy with the alcohol to release glucose to raise you bg).

Just on the issue of not drinking when everyone else is: I totally get that. It’s really important to other people that you drink, too. I have no idea why, but other people WANT you to drink. It’s very strange.

I know, because I don’t drink at all, so I’ve dealt with this since I was a teenager. It’s not some moral stance or anything, I just don’t like how it tastes. Plus I’m a control freak, and the idea of being out of control is just not appealing to me in any way.

So I can tell you from experience that you don’t have to drink at parties if you don’t want to. You can just say, “No, thanks. I don’t drink,” and then either explain why or not, whatever you’re comfortable with, and repeat as often as necessary.

There are lots of reasons not to, from diabetes management to taste to being in training/health-conscious to being pregnant/hoping to get someone else pregnant to being in recovery to being on medications that don’t mix well, etc., etc., etc.

And it IS nice to always be able to drive yourself and anyone else who needs it. Lots of places will even give you free sodas if you tell them you’re the DD.

All of which is a long way of saying that if you do decide not to drink – for any reason – you won’t be the only one.