Binge Drinking

Who wants to act like a fool or un-cool

Oli art 8Drinking and puking aren’t cool

Why we drink

In the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender young people (LGBT) young people often come out in extremely hostile environments, often experiencing bullying, ridicule, harassment, discrimination and even physical violence on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.

In LGBT community there are not many places to go to meet people and have fun that do not serve alcohol and the club and pus scene is where most LGBT people go to socialise and meet other LGBT people.

So to a lot of young people turning 18 is a time to go out and celebrate and hit the club and pus scene legally for the first time. Unfortunately a lot of young people can get into trouble at this time because they overdo it trying to prove themselves to be adults or keep up with the crowd.

There are a lot of LGBT young people drink alcohol or use drugs as a way of dealing with homophobia and discrimination, and some young people think drinking makes things better.

Such as:

  • Drinking gives you more confidence and makes it easier to go out and be with other people and in general makes the world seem a nicer place and the future brighter.
  • Drinking makes a person feel good and happy.
  • Drinking makes the party more fun.
  • Drinking is okay because it allows people to join with others who are having fun and people friendlier.
  • People understand things better when they are drinking.
  • Drinking makes it easier to play sports and more alert.
  • People are more interested in looking for partners after drinking.
  • Drinking makes you more romantic.
  • Drinking makes sex more fun and enjoyable.

The truth is that the above are just not true and if you need alcohol or drugs to do any of the things above you may have or be developing an alcohol or substance abuse issue or problem.

The truth is who wants to act like a fool or un-cool in front of their friends? Getting wasted and sick is not fun and expecting your friends to look after you is not fair, they want to have fun too. Looking after sick drunk or stoned friends is not fun and picking up friends from hospital after they have been hurt or from the police station when they have been picked up is not cool.

Some hard facts about alcohol and young people.

  • Four Australians under 25 die due to alcohol related injuries in an average week.
  • One in two Australians 15-17 who get drunk will do something they regret.
  • 70 Australians under 25 will be hospitalised due to alcohol-caused assault in an average week.
  • On average, 1 in 4 hospitalisations of people 15-24 happen because of alcohol. Drinking to intoxication can put you into situations that might be dangerous, embarrassing, or which you may later regret. Every time you drink, you are at risk of causing harm to yourself or others.

Bad shit can happen when you binge – Short-term harms

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The risks associated with short-term harm or binge drinking can include:

  • You getting into fights or drunk people starting fights with you and getting hurt
  • Getting hit by a car trying to cross roads drunk or getting in cars with someone who has been drinking and having an accident
  • Drowning, swimming while drunk can be dangerous because of the affects of alcohol
  • Accidents and getting hurt, lots of young people end up in hospital emergency departments while drinking
  • Alcohol poisoning, hang over’s aren’t fun
  • Drinking can mess up friendships and have social and personal consequences like acting like a fool or acting un-cool in front of your friends or the impact on families when you get hurt or in trouble
  • Losing your stuff i.e. phone or wallet
  • Hooking up with someone you wouldn’t normally and having unprotected sex and making it easier to catch sexually transmitted infection (STI) and/or an unwanted pregnancy.

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Long-term harms

Risky and high risk drinking during when you are young may also have serious longer-term cost, like:

  • Personal and social problems, such as spending more time drinking than doing other things you used to like
  • Brain damage, including the inability to learn and remember things;
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts;
  • The development of chronic disease, including some cancers and heart disease;
  • Cirrhosis of the liver; and
  • Dependence on alcohol.

Levels of Risk

The 2009 Australian Alcohol Guidelines (AAGs) provide a framework for categorising low risk, risky and high risk drinking for both short and long-term harm.

The level of risk associated with drinking both in the short term and the long term depends on a variety of factors. But generally:

  • Low risk levels define a level of drinking at which there is a minimal risk of harm.
  • Risky levels are those at which the risk of harm is significantly increased beyond any possible benefits.
  • High risk drinking levels are those at which there is substantial risk of serious harm, and above which risk continues to increase rapidly.

National drinking standards

The national drinking guidelines sate that you are at risk if you:

  • Drink more than 2 standard drinks per day
  • Drink more than 4 standard drinks in one session
  • And you should have 2 days alcohol free in any given week

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol.

It is important to note that drink serving sizes are often more than one standard drink.

Beer

Full strength beer 285 ml glass – 1.1 standard drinks

Mid strength beer 285 ml glass – 0.8 standard drinks

Low strength beer 285 ml glass – 0.6 standard drinks

Wine

Red wine 100 ml standard serve – 0.9 standard drink

White wine 100 ml standard serve – 1 standard drink

Champagne 150 ml average restaurant serving – 1.4 standard drinks

Port 60ml standard serve – 0.8 standard drinks

Sprits

Spirits 30 ml nip – 1 standard drink

There are no common glass sizes used in Australia it is up to you to know what you are drinking.

The label on an alcoholic drink container tells you the number of standard drinks in the container.

This is a link to a wallet card that could help.

ttp://www.health.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/C6738D5F231CC231CA25767200820337/$File/young.pdf

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The law

It is illegal for someone under the age of 18 to drink or buy alcohol in most states.

Even getting someone who is 18 to buy or supply you alcohol in a licensed venue or public place is illegal you and the person supplying the alcohol could be fined.

Excessive drinking can lead to alcohol-related violence and assault, and could lead to a criminal record or fines for those persons found guilty of an offence.

It is also illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol. In some states if you are a learner or provisional driver, having any alcohol in your system is illegal. Drink driving puts the driver, passengers, pedestrians and other drivers at serious risk of injury or death. You may not realise it at the time, but alcohol seriously affects your general driving judgement and reaction times.

Losing your license from drink driving or having a criminal record from alcohol-related assault or violence will impact your life more than you think. It can limit job opportunities and hanging out with friends.