It’s important to know the effects of alcohol and whether your drinking is getting out of hand. It can sometimes be hard to figure out when to slow down or stop drinking, so we’ve got some tips to help you party safe.
Alcohol effects everyone differently, and there are a lot of factors that can change how you will react to drinking. Things like your age, body weight, mood, where you’re drinking and who with all contributes to the effect alcohol will have on you. The more you drink, the more serious the effects of alcohol will be. Although alcohol can be safe to drink in moderate amounts, it can also be really dangerous, even fatal, if you drink too much.
If you are with someone who is really drunk and starts vomiting tell and adult and get them somewhere safe and quiet. If they start to lose consciousness call an ambulance. The ambulance will not get the police involved or get you in trouble for underage drinking.
Apart from the immediate effects of drinking, alcohol can also have serious long term effects on your health. It’s not just about how much you drink in one night, it’s also about how much your drink in a week or a month.
There is an easy way to monitor how much you’re drinking, by counting the number of standard drinks you have. Different types of drinks contain different amounts of alcohol. One standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol. Drinks like beer and cider contain less alcohol than drinks like wine and spirits, so a standard drink of beer will be bigger than a standard drink of wine. All alcoholic drinks sold in Australia have the number of standard drinks on the side of the bottle, so if you’re not sure how strong the drink is that you’re buying you can always check on the label.
Here is a helpful guide to some of the most common standard drinks. You can also use Drink Wise’s standard drinks calculator to work out how much a standard drink is. Check out the facts on alcohol for some great safe drinking tips!
If you drink too much in one night, you’ll probably know about it the next day. Feeling sick the day after drinking is called a hangover. The hangover will probably be worse the more you drink. The effects of a hangover include:
If you have a hangover the best thing to do is drink lots of water and eat if you feel like it. You will be dehydrated so drinking a sports drink might help. You might need to spend the day just chilling out, or even in bed if it’s really bad.
A great way to avoid a hangover is is to monitor how much you are drinking, and stop when you reach your limit. Drink water between alcoholic drinks and drink slowly- don’t try to keep up with others, you’ll probably regret it the next day.
Binge drinking is drinking to deliberately get drunk. It usually means not drinking much normally but getting really drunk sometimes (like not drinking any alcohol during the week and then getting really drunk on a Saturday night). Binge drinking can lead to some pretty bad stuff like having an accident, having unsafe sex, getting into arguments with your friends and can also cause long term health problems.
If you’re worried about getting too drunk make a plan with a friend to slow down, and have them tell you if they think you’re too drunk. It’s also a great idea to check in with your friends throughout the night, to make sure everyone is still having a good time. You can find more great tips at Youth Central and Reachout.
Alcohol dependency is different to binge drinking in that instead of drinking a lot occasionally, you drink drink a lot regularly and become dependent on alcohol in your everyday life. Some of the warning signs of alcohol dependence include:
If you or someone close to you is showing some of these warning signs there are heaps of places you can go for support. You can call the Counselling Online, Family Drug Support Helpline, Beyond Blue or Headspace for confidential counselling and support.
If you’re worried about your drinking or a friend or family member’s drinking, it can really help to talk about it. Talk to an adult you trust like a parent, teacher, school counsellor or youth worker. You can access free alcohol and drug counselling from Counselling Online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.