A few safety tips at the most basic level - not intended to replace a boating safety course:
Land bound outdoor recreational vehicles can also be dangerous and safety programs for snowmobiling and other off road vehicles likely exist.
Effective self care can involve learning both the recommendations from research and others’ experiences and learning to recognize internal signals from the body – queasy stomach, wobbly walk, slurred speech, — give the keys to the bartender or close friend and sleep it off.
Excess alcohol may also cause a depressed mood or a more aggressive mood so recognize that violence or self injury in oneself or a friend may be more of a risk when under the influence of alcohol. Sleeping it off is the safest strategy because coffee or other methods suggested for rapid sobering up have not been found to be truly effective. Roughly, it takes the body about one hour to process an ounce equivalent of hard liquor (5-6 ounce wine, 12 ounce beer) so if it was a twelve pack, then plan ahead and call in absent from the next day’s work, and then maybe turn off the phone to prevent making any other unfortunate calls.
Effective self care can serve as a safety warning when someone recognizes that what they are feeling is similar to what they felt in their body during a previous experience that had negative consequences. An example would be the medications Xanax or Valium, or other benzodiazepines, which may be prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication, however they affect the brain and body very similarly to alcohol and taking a benzodiazepine medication when also drinking alcohol can make the “drunk” symptoms much worse.
One of the topics reviewed by the U.S. Effective Health Care Program is on alcohol use disorder and medications that have been used in research trials for treating adults with the condition: Pharmacotherapy for Adults With Alcohol Use Disorder in Outpatient Settings, effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov
And mixing alcohol and other drugs is a risk, even without a recreational vehicle.
I have never been much of a fan of alcoholic beverages. Just one or two drinks can affect my balance and I prefer good balance and being able to spin and dance for a natural thrill, rather than drinking for a "buzz."
Happily I've never been in a situation where I had to try to save a drowning person,
but I am still prepared to jump in the deep end if a situation calls for it.
Recognizing that a risk exists allows strategies to be developed to better cope with the risk, or to help prevent the risk from occurring. Learning from the experience and reliable research of others can help save time and lives, and can be more cost effective than paying for the research independently, or worse - having to learn the hard way by experiencing an accident or emergency firsthand.
Links and Reference footnotes for Chapter 1: About Effective Care.