How to Minimise the Harms of Binge Drinking

Minimising harms

To minimize the harms of binge drinking, it’s best to stop binge drinking completely because if you don’t binge drink, then you don’t have anything to worry about.

According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, it is recommended that:

For healthy men and women to reduce the risk of an alcohol-related injury or disease during their lifetime, they should drink no more P07_a_TooMuchAlcoholthan two standard drinks on any day.

For healthy men and women to reduce the risk of an immediate alcohol-related injury, they should drink no more than four standard drinks on any one occasion.

For children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Here are two other ways:

  • Education strategies. The first step in harm reduction is to provide accurate information about the consequences and risks of drug use and promote behaviors that reduce risk. Education should include information on physical and psycho-social risks of drug abuse, risks of overdose, infectious diseases, driving problems, cardiovascular, metabolic, and psychiatric disorders.
  • Brief interventions and counselling of drug user from local doctor. Interventions are likely to reduce injury and violence. Drugs such as alcohol have been related to injury, violence, and public disorder.
  • In South Australia there are also a variety of campaigns available for people to attend, in order to stop or prevent yourself from binge drinking.

Here are a set of steps to be aware of, as well as controlling yourself whilst drinking:

  1. Be aware of the consequences regarding your health before drinking, these consequences are your physical and mental body and what might happen to them both if you binge drink.
  2. Know what might trigger your urge to drink. These triggers include:
  •              Being at a party where everyone is drinking.
  •              Curiosity of what it feels like a drink a lot of alcohol very quickly.
  •              Sculling competitions and drinking games as such.
  •              Being a part of rounds or shouts which could go on for hours.
  •              Not being busy with something other than drinking.
  •              Feeling shy or not being able to say no to drinks.
  •              Feeling either stressed, unhappy or depressed and you want to drown the emotions.
  •              Wanting to fit in with crowd or impress older people.
  •              Thinking that a lot of drinks once a week isn’t harmful (this is erroneous self-justification).

3.  Knowing how many standard drinks is legal in the region that you are in and if it is higher or lower, because in some places it is different. A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol (12.5ml of pure alcohol). Different types of alcoholic drinks contain different amounts of alcohol.

Keep in mind that not all drinks contain the same concentration of alcohol, and most venues do not serve alcohol in standard drink sizes. Beware of bigger glasses, bottles or cans which hold more than one standard drink. If you are not sure, read the label.

4.   Consider the fact if you are binge drinking or not. If you’re consuming more than double the standard drinks recommended by your country’s health authority each drinking session, then you’re binge drinking.

5.  You should avoid drinking the alcohol in one go and finishing it, instead, take your time and drink it sip by sip to avoid over drinking which results in binge drinking.

6.  It is advised that when you are going to either a pub or a social place like a party, you should take a friend with you that doesn’t actually drink alcohol because then, he/she can control you over drinking and can also drive or take you home instead of a drunk person walking home.

7.  Another good piece pf advice is to keep your self busy and not just sit there drinking alcohol because then you will keep asking for more and more alcohol from the bar tender .

8.  Do not  drink alcohol on an empty stomach, as this can lead to you wanting to drink more and more alcohol and also avoid any salty snacks as they make you thirsty.

9.  You should not take much money with you and leave your credit card at home so your not tempted to use to use your credit card and once you out of money, then just call it a day and either drink water for the rest of the day/night or just go home.

10.  Stay away from rounds and shots, as this can lead to you wanting to continue drinking alcohol.

Supporting Alcoholics

alcoholic-helpIf you have friends or family who are alcoholic, you should support them rather than abandon them. If you abandon them, it will cause depression and that will cause them to “drown their tears in drinks”. To support them, try to approach the topic sensitively meaning be kind and supportive. Get him some help such as counselling or rehabilitation and don’t push the person if he doesn’t want to but rather encourage them.

There is always help around for alcoholics. There is an alcohol help hotline and the number in WA is 08 9442 5000. There are also numerous local alcohol support groups and rehabilitation centres. You can also rely on your family to help you because they will probably be supportive.

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