Alcohol abuse and Binge drinking

Alcohol can lead to health problems if you drink a lot on a regular basis.  According to Drink Aware, binge drinking is ‘drinking heavily over a short space of time’. Another way of thinking about it is ‘drinking to get drunk’.

Alcohol is a powerful chemical that can have a wide range of adverse effects on almost every part of your body, including your brain, bones and heart.

Alcohol and its associated risks can have both short-term and long-term effects.

Risk of Alcohol abuse

  1. Alcohol poisoning: if you drink a lot of alcohol in a short space of time, it can cause alcohol poisoning, which can affect your ability to speak and move
  2. Accidents and injury: alcohol affects your ability to control your body movements, so if you have a lot to drink, you’re more likely to have accidents or hurt yourself. It also affects your judgement which can lead to you taking risks you wouldn’t normally take, like having unprotected sex, getting into fights or getting into trouble with the police.
  3. Diseases: drinking alcohol regularly increases the risk of liver disease. Alcohol has been linked to higher risks of different types of cancers and heart disease. Alcohol can also increase your risk of getting diabetes, this is because of the sugars present in alcoholic drinks. Cutting down your alcohol intake can reduce your risk of getting these diseases. 

 

Dealing with Alcohol related problems

Peer pressure is when friends try to make you do things you don't feel comfortable with.

  1. If you don't want to drink, then don't: you are in control of your body and can choose what you do or don't do.
  2. If it makes you feel better, give them a reason: you could say that you don’t feel very well, you’ve got to be up early in the morning or that you don’t want a hangover the next day!
  3. Use a decoy: have a soft drink in your hand already so your friends presume you already have a drink.
Three things to remember to keep yourself safe when drinking alcohol
  1. Don’t leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers in case someone adds something to it that you don’t know about
  2. Look after yourself and your friends – be aware of your surroundings
  3. If a person is ‘drunk’, they are not legally able to give consent to engage in sexual activity

where to get advice and Support

Think you know the score when it comes to drugs and alcohol? Check the facts, get help and advice and know how to stay safe with information from the following organisations:

Speak to your GP

Drugs: Talk to Frank or call 0300 123 6600 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

Binge drinking: Binge drinking | Drinkaware

Alcohol: Drink Aware or call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am-8pm, weekends 11am-4pm)

NSPCC : Provides advice on Underage drinking | NSPCC

Alcohol Change UKFact sheets | Alcohol Change UK

NHS Choices: Alcohol misuse - Risks - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

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