Feeling Green the Day After Saint Patrick’s Day

by: Mike Miller

Have you ever woken up on March 18th and been hung over? Often when I teach alcohol awareness classes we discuss St. Patrick’s Day and the role it plays in my students lives.  It may not surprise you that high percentage of students taking alcohol awareness classes think that St. Patrick’s Day is symbolic of heavy drinking.

As a recovering alcoholic I admit that St. Patrick’s Day to me was synonymous with getting drunk.  After years of fighting with friends over who was to be the designated driver, almost always with that person drinking to some extent anyway, we started taking taxis.  I would like to say it was because we were being responsible, but as with most things in life, you have to learn from experience.  One year our designated driver on St. Patty’s Day got pulled over and received a DUI.

Take A Taxi

Those of you who read my blog post regularly know that one of the things I always harp on is using the taxi service.  If you drive to a party far from home and are drinking, take a taxi to a friend’s house, or even a motel.  A $20 cab ride and $40 motel is sure cheaper than a $1,500.00 DUI. 

There Is No Need To Get Wasted

I have yet to have even one student from one of my alcohol awareness classes admit to like the feeling of being hung-over.  There is nothing fun about headaches and nausea.  Despite the numerous hangover remedies, there is really nothing that makes you feel better – even “Hair of the Dog.”

Please, do not misunderstand me if you are not an alcoholic and you act responsibly, it is fine to celebrate Ireland’s Patron Saint by tipping back a cold one, or even two.  The key to most things in life is moderation.  For the first few years of my sobriety I would not leave the house on St. Patrick’s Day.  Now, a number of my sober friends get together and have a huge corned beef and cabbage dinner.

Find A New Image for St. Patrick


There are many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without drinking alcohol. While never a big lover of parade’s I have to admit that St. Patrick’s Day parades are quite enjoyable. It may have been the first parade I had attended since childhood where I remained sober.

There is an espirit de corps, a joie de vie among the revelers at a Saint Patty’s Day parade that make it a real hoot. Of course there are always a few in attendance that are visibly intoxicated. They will be feeling green the next morning, that is for sure!

Many cities, Seattle being one of them, re-paint the city street lines green on the parade route. Other cities dye the waterways green. Indianapolis dyes its canal green and Savannah, Georgia dyes all the water in its public fountains emerald.

I encourage you to look at alternative ways to celebrate this festive holiday. Irish folksongs are played in coffee shops and Irish art shows go on throughout many metropolitan areas. It is possible to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day without alcohol. And let me tell you from personal experience, it is always better to wake up on the morning (or afternoon) of the 18th not feeling so green.