Risky drinking, or binge drinking refers to the consumption of alcohol, on any single occasion, at a level that is hazardous to one’s health in the short-term. It also refers to drinking alcohol to excess on a regular basis or repeatedly - this is more likely to have an impact on one’s long-term health.
Tips to reduce risky drinking
Drinking alcohol can cause you to lose your inhibitions, and may lead you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do. When planning a night out and having a drink, there are a number of things that are easy to remember, which you can do to avoid drama:
- know the standard – know how much alcohol is in what drink so you are aware of the amount of alcohol you are consuming and therefore know when you have had enough
- thirsty? – alcohol does not quench your thirst but in fact makes you more dehydrated. If you are thirsty drink water as this will help prevent dehydration.
- drink slowly – take sips and not gulps. Put your glass down between sips
- eat before or while you are drinking
- One drink at a time – do not let people top up your drinks
- pace yourself – try having a ‘spacer’, a non-alcoholic drink every second or third drink
- stay busy – play pool or dance – don’t just sit and drink
- be assertive – do not be pressured into drinking more than you want or intend to.
It is important to keep these tips in mind regardless of who you are, what you are doing and how much you are drinking.
Interaction with other drugs
Alcohol and other drugs are not a good combination and can result in serious consequences. Whether it be pills, pain killers (benzodiazepines), opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, barbiturates, hallucinogens, antibiotics and antihistamines, alcohol has the potential to alter the effects of all these drugs and may produce unpredictable and dangerous effects in your body.
The effect of some drug and alcohol combinations may cause drowsiness and reduce the ability to carry out simple tasks whereas the effect of some drugs, such as antibiotics will be neutralised. Some combinations may even cause unconsciousness.