Entries in New Year's Eve (5)


New Year, New Headache? Hangover Cures and Myths

Steve Mason/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After the Times Square ball drops on New Year’s Eve and copious amounts of champagne get toasted and drunk, many might find themselves forgetting more ”auld acquaintances” than they intended and waking up to 2013 with a vicious hangover.

A hangover is essentially a build-up of acetaldehyde, a toxin in the liver.  When one overdoes it on the booze, the liver can’t produce enough glutathione, a compound that contains the amino acid L-cysteine, to combat it.  Cysteine breaks down acetaldehyde into water and carbon dioxide, which is then flushed out of the body as urine.

While nothing has been shown scientifically to “cure” a hangover, Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief medical editor, offered these tips to help nurse the pain:

  • Drink plenty of water.  Alcohol is quite dehydrating.
  • If you have a headache, take aspirin or ibuprofen the next morning, not acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Acetaminophen is processed by your liver that has just taken a hit from your overdrinking.
  • Go to bed.  Most hangovers are over after eight to 24 hours.

Other suggestions from past contributors to ABC News include how to avoid a hangover while still slugging back the brewskies, and what to do if the hangover arrives anyway:

While You’re Boozing:

1. Sip Slowly

If you drink your alcohol slowly instead of guzzling it down, doctors say it helps give the stomach a fighting chance to absorb the toxins so your body isn’t assaulted with booze.

2. Eat Fatty Foods

Food products with a lot of fat in them, such as chips, can help slow down the absorption of alcohol.

3. Avoid Carbonated Drinks

Doctors say carbonation can increase the absorption of alcohol, so put down the rum and Coke.

The Morning After:

1. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Time will heal all wounds.

2. Flush Your System

When you are dehydrated, your body is depleted of potassium and sodium, which is why you have that achy “hit by a dump truck” feeling the next morning.  Doctors say try to replenish your body with lots of fluids.  Drink water or drinks that are heavy in electrolytes, such as sports drinks or coconut water.

3. Be Leery of Caffeine

Caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic, which can further dehydrate your body after drinking, making the headache much worse, so doctors recommend extra water if you’re going to reach for a cup of coffee, tea or an energy drink.

But people who regularly drink minimal amounts of caffeine might find it helps soothe their headache.  While the causes of a hangover aren’t completely understood, a leading theory for the pounding headache is that alcohol dilates blood vessels in the brain and caffeine constricts the blood vessels, which might bring relief to some people.

4. Avoid the ‘Hair of the Dog’

While that Bloody Mary or extra pint of beer with breakfast the next morning sounds like a rallying move, doctors say more alcohol means more dehydration, meaning more hangover hurting.  Even if you don’t feel the pain now, you will later.

5. Have a Snack

According to the Mayo Clinic, bland foods, such as toast and crackers, can help boost blood sugar and settle your stomach.  Eating chicken noodle or bouillon soups, which are loaded with sodium and potassium, can help make you feel better.

Foods and drinks that contain fructose, such as honey, apples, berries or fruit juice, as well as vitamin C and B can also help burn off alcohol.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Teens Drink and Drive on New Year's Eve Than Other Holidays

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Adults are not the only ones who overindulge in alcohol then get behind the wheel on New Year’s Eve -- teens do it, too.

According to a recently released study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), 10 percent of teens admit to driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve, compared to just 6 percent on prom night and 4 percent after graduation.  

New Year’s Eve has the highest percentage of admitted teen drivers for a single event. 

Teens also believe that New Year’s Eve is the most dangerous time to drive, with 49 percent of them tagging that night as especially risky, due to drunk drivers on the road -- but still, they continue to contribute to the problem.

The study also found a large majority of teens would stop driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana if asked by a passenger. 

Female passengers are more likely to speak up than male ones, and teen passengers are more likely to ask a friend to stop driving after drinking than if the driver had used marijuana.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the day with the highest number of alcohol-related fatalities in 2010 was Jan.1 -- a trend that’s held up for the last decade.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


How Long Is the Perfect New Year's Kiss?

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- When you kiss 2011 goodbye at the stroke of midnight this Saturday, how long will your New Year’s kiss last?

The dating website It’sJustLunch surveyed over 500 singles and asked, “How long is the perfect New Year’s Kiss?”  Here are the results:

-- If you’re kissing someone you just met at a party, 61 percent of the respondents said “seven seconds” is long enough.

-- If you're at the party with someone you’ve been dating for at least three months, 23 percent said, “long enough to need to get a room."  Nineteen percent of respondents said the kiss should last “12 seconds.”

-- When it comes to bringing in the new year at home, 58 percent of those polled agreed their ideal smooch would be “long enough to go way beyond kissing.”

As for the preferred kissing technique for a public smooch:

-- 36 percent chose kissing with an “open mouth and tongue.”
-- 34 percent picked “open mouth and no tongue.”
-- 30 percent chose a “closed mouth.”

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said if their New Year’s kiss was in a public place, they’d make it “shorter, subtler and more reserved.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ring in the New Year with Cheer, Not a Hangover

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Most people who consume alcohol have had a hangover at least once in their lives.  And some of those people raising their glasses on New Year's Eve may be clutching their heads and bellies on Jan. 1.

Key symptoms of a hangover include a usually throbbing headache, nausea, diarrhea, excessive fatigue, and extreme thirst and dehydration.  The liver breaks down alcohol into a byproduct called acetaldehyde, which is more toxic to the body than the alcohol itself, and is the reason for the post-drinking side effects.

But, as many people have noticed, every person reacts differently to alcohol.  Some people have a few sips of alcohol and feel terrible the next day, while others can consume drink after drink into the wee hours of the morning and feel great.

That's because it's not just the amount of alcohol that goes into the body that influences the hangover.  Age, genetics, medications, diet, immune systems, weight, and gender all can come into play.

If you want to avoid a hangover, doctors say, don't drink.  But, if the booze already is flowing, here are a few things drinkers can do to help make the morning after more tolerable:

-- Drink slowly and eat foods high in fat to help slow the absorption of alcohol.

-- Avoid carbonation, which can increase the absorption of alcohol.

-- Drink water or juice in between drinks.

If the hangover has already arrived, doctors advise people to sleep it off.  Otherwise, doctors say to replenish the body by drinking a lot of fluids and be sure to eat fructose-containing foods like tomatoes, oranges, honey, and bananas.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


New Year’s Worst Holiday for Underage Drinking-Related ER Visits

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(ROCKVILLE, Md.) – Visits to the emergency room due to underage drinking nearly quadruple on New Year’s Eve according to a new report.

The report out Thursday by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) said that New Year’s-related drinking sent 1,980 underage individuals to the ER in 2009.

The figure is four times greater than the average daily number of people under 21 who make alcohol-related ER visits.

It also beats out other notorious partying holidays such as Fourth of July and Memorial Day weekend.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio