Binge-drinking

Why Getting Drunk At A Bar Is Keeping You Single

Despite the consensus that you can’t find love at a bar, hopeful singles still pack popular venues every weekend in search of their perfect partner. Interestingly enough, some are actually finding it there. I’ve met a number of couples who initially met at bars and have been married for decades, so the idea that it can’t happen is a myth – love can, and will, find you wherever you are.

RELATED: Finding Love In All The Wrong Places

In saying that, however, there are some who continuously strike out. It’s a bizarre conundrum and singles seriously searching for that special someone need to ask themselves: what the heck’s going on?

Maybe it’s something to do with social competence, perhaps? Some people do have the gift of the gab and they seem to be able to strike up a conversation with almost anyone – especially when they’ve had a few drinks.

However, there is major difference between having a few drinks to socialise and going over the top and drinking way to much. Being drunk isn’t pretty no matter who you are. Even the most attractive person can look ugly if they’ve drank too much as it’s not so much about their looks, but their overall persona. I’m sure most of us would have witnessed someone in a bar doing some weird and not so wonderful things with a few vodkas under their belt!

It might be the usually shy guy in the corner whose downed a few too many bourbons and suddenly wants to take on every other male in the room; or the attractive young lady whose generally known to be intelligent and discrete who starts stripping off items of clothing to her favorite song. It really is amazing the stuff people do when they’re inhibitions are low and the wild beast within is set free.

Ideally, singles engaging in this sort of behavior aren’t giving off a great initial impression. Dating has recently been described as similar to attending a job interview, so these drunken antics certainly won’t have any potential partners lining up for them any time soon. They might be the most wonderful people to get to know, but the amount of alcohol they’ve consumed has made them instantly un-datable.

Sure, the bra clad lass may get a few offers for a quick roll between the sheets, but she’s definitely not going to find her Mr Right. Seeing as she’s so intoxicated, there’s a reasonable chance that she just might take up a willing bystander on his offer, however this is usually when STD’s and unwanted pregnancy raise their heads.

Drunk individuals aren’t capable of making great choices, so they are putting themselves at risk to a whole lot of trouble. With social media lurking, there’s also the fact that peoples one night drunken escapade doesn’t just stop when the parties over anymore; there’s a very real chance that whatever they’re doing when they’re as high as a kite will end up on Snapchat or Facebook.

Oh the shame! This stuff tends to linger for a while, so anyone who may have been thinking about asking them out may be a little put off. Therefore, it’s not only other singles at the bar that get to see these drunk individuals in action, the entire globe can now get a birds-eye view of peoples not-so-fine moments.

It’s probably not the impression most singles would want, particularly if they are serious about finding someone to love. So, if you are looking for Mr or Mrs Right at the bar and thinking about downing those extra few drinks for liquid confidence, rethink it – because you’ve got a much better chance of finding them if you’re drinking socially than drinking to get totally wasted.

Image via Daily Mail

June 23, 2015

Do You Have A Drinking Problem?

Is one of your New Year resolutions to curb your alcohol intake?

Mine too. Indeed, after our great nation overindulged over the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday season, I’d hazard a guess that every second person would have this one top of their list.

RELATED: Is Too Much Alcohol Making You Fat?

Alcohol can make us feel euphoric, warm and fuzzy, bolder and sexier, and with the combined dance moves and finesse of Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers. But drink too much and it can negatively impact every facet of your life, from your relationships through to your work productivity.

The Federal Government recently estimated the societal costs of alcohol abuse in Australia to be in excess of $15 billion, with $10.8 billion attributed to tangible costs (for example, labour and health costs) and $4.5 billion to intangible costs such as loss of life through violence.

Alcohol is the most widely-used social drug in Australia, with heavy drinking or binge drinking said to cause serious health, personal and social problems.

What’s more, you can have the best diet and/or exercise program to rival Jane Fonda’s, but drink too much alcohol and the empty calories will be sabotaging your hard efforts.

alcoholism, drinking issues, binge drinking

So, how do you tell if you or a loved one has a drinking problem? Health experts say signs it might be time to get help may include: you can’t go a night without a drink; you frequently pass out drunk by 9pm; you regularly can’t remember the night before; you have an increased tolerance to alcohol and drugs and/or you’re regularly binge drinking.

And, according to experts, another good question to ask yourself: Is my drinking negatively impacting my relationships?

Leading Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured below) who just launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, said drinking too much alcohol was a very serious and common problem in Australia.

Susie, who herself enjoys the occasional social drink or two, said many people use alcohol as a crutch to relax and escape from their personal issues and problems.

no carbs diets, low-carb diets, baby weight, post-baby weight loss, diets, fad diets

“Unfortunately, this is the type of drinking that we see far too often in Australia – ½ a case [of beer] or a bottle or more on a daily basis that is not helping you to relax and unwind like you are telling yourself,” she says.

And, as any health professional will tell you – the demon drink is like kryptonite when you’re trying to lose weight. If you can’t budge that final 5kg of baby weight, for example, chances are your excessive alcohol consumption is to blame. Then there are the significant adverse health effects of alcohol abuse, Susie says.

“From a health perspective, excessive alcohol consumption causes two main issues,” Susie says, “the first is that alcohol is relatively high in calories and hence it is easy to gain weight when we drink too much.

“Individuals who drink too much alcohol over many years often develop an alcohol fat apron around the abdominal area – for women this can make them appear pregnant, while for men it’s often a hard-packed solid mass which is exceptionally hard to budge.

“The other issue, which is perhaps the worse of the two, is that excessive alcohol consumption results in disinhibition and lethargy – you do and say things you should not, far less gets done, your mood is impeding and basically you function at a much lower level than you could be at any point in time. Occasionally, this is no issue, but on a daily basis, this pattern of behaviour starts to destroy lives.”

alcoholism, drinking issues, binge drinking

Susie says going cold turkey may be enough for many people to serve as a reminder of their unhealthy reliance upon alcohol to relax or socialise. If not, and you still can’t quit the grog, it’s time to seek medical attention.

“If the issue is bigger than this it is time to get professional help, as our lives and relationships are far too precious to be lost over beers or a cheap bottle of wine,” she says.

If you need help, visit www.beyondblue.org.au and/or www.lifeline.org.au.

Main image via www.rehabcenterforwomen.org and secondary images via www.pixabay.com.

January 6, 2015

The Harmful Effects Of Alcohol On Your Unborn Baby

Before you reach for that glass of wine or cold beer when you’re pregnant, perhaps think again at what you’re actually doing to your baby.  Everything that you eat or drink goes through your bloodstream and into the placenta which means that when you indulge in a wine your baby will be having a drink too.  The alcohol can then interfere with your baby’s ability to get enough oxygen and nourishment for normal cell development and there has been plenty of research to show that mothers who drink during pregnancy can cause their unborn baby serious harm.  Although it’s not known exactly how much alcohol can affect an unborn baby the safest and recommended option is to drink nothing at all.

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, otherwise known as FASD, is a term to describe a group of conditions that can occur when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy.  These conditions are not temporary – they are permanent and can affect your child for the rest of their life.  Frequent weekly drinking or binge drinking during pregnancy can greatly increase the chances of your baby developing a serious condition but women who drank very little have also been linked to FASD.

So here is a list of some of the potential problems that your newborn could face if you’ve been drinking throughout your pregnancy:

  • Kidney and urinary defects
  • Heart defects or murmurs
  • Organ abnormalities
  • Mental retardation
  • Learning disabilities
  • Short attention span
  • Irritability in infancy
  • Poor hand eye coordination
  • Small head
  • Small birth weight
  • Near-sightedness
  • Slow development
  • Limited joint movement
  • Facial abnormalities
  • Poorly formed ears
  • Genital abnormalities

This list of potential problems paints a very scary picture of what life could be like for you and your baby in the future so reconsider that drink next time you’re tempted.  Nine months might seem like a long time in the beginning but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?

If you think you might have a problem giving up alcohol for the duration of your pregnancy then speak with your doctor or call an alcohol helpline for a confidential chat.

Image via blogcdn.com

September 15, 2014

The Dangers Of Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is no longer associated with teenagers or individuals in their mid to early twenties and neither are it’s long-standing side effects. Continued recreational use of alcohol could potentially cause injury, loss of productivity and even life-long diseases which aren’t as easy to shake off. Next time you pick up a drink, think about the consequences on yourself and people around you, and be aware of your limits.

Short-term effects of binge drinking

Most short-term effects are usually brushed off and can have you feeling brand new up to 24 hours later. These include headaches, hangovers, nausea and vomiting which are all extremely unpleasant, but with rest and relaxation these symptoms will seem to decrease with time.

Think of alcohol poisoning as a possible risk when drinking large quantities of alcohol over a short period of time. Excessively drinking alcohol could decrease your nervous systems ability to breathe, swallow or even prevent the body from choking. This could potentially lead to asphyxiation, which is when someone struggles to breathe and instead chokes on their own vomit. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) indicates how much alcohol is in the blood stream, and continues to rise if someone falls asleep or passes out. In this scenario, it is best to keep the individual awake and alert or take them to hospital if you fear alcohol poisoning has taken place.

Long-term effects of binge drinking

Continuous overexposure to ethanol can lead to a variety of different health problems which are physical, mental and psychological in nature. The main health problems include irreversible liver damage, obesity, a chronic dependance on alcohol and even damage to the brain and entire nervous system

Reduce your risk

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia recommends that women and men should drink no more than two standard drinks a day. Although there is no safe level of alcoholic consumption, keep this as a guide and learn to understand how alcohol affects you individually. People who are overexposed to alcohol are more prone to alcohol-related injury such as fighting, domestic violence and even death. You can only be responsible for yourself, and as such be aware of your own limits with drinking alcohol while you’re out. 

Image via Brittney Deguara

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 16, 2014