Alcohol

and its affects

How Alcohol is ingested:

Alcohol is a drug consumed by drinking, and is almost always present at parties and functions.

When an alcoholic beverage is swallowed, it is diluted by gastric juices in the stomach. A small amount of the alcohol is spread into the bloodstream straight from the stomach wall, while most goes to the small intestine. However, up to half the alcohol is diluted in the stomach before it passes into the small intestine. Overall, a lower percentage of the alcohol is diluted in a young woman’s stomach than in a young man’s because a young woman’s gastric systems contain lower levels of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).

Why people choose to/not to drink:

To drink

* The thrill and buzz caused by drinking

* Peer pressure during parties and social outings

* Growing up around alcohol and believing that consuming large amount is the normal thing to do.


Not to drink

* It affects sleeping patterns and brain function

* Saves money

* No need to wait for cabs

* Less humiliation after the party

Potential effects of drinking alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, but it has different effects on different people!

Alcohol can create the feeling of relaxation and drowsiness in older people with effects like slowed reaction times. However the consumption of alcohol can also lead to the feeling of excitement or a buzz, in younger consumers. With effects like difficulty to concentrate or restlessness.

Alcohol is also known to slow your pulse rate and respiratory functions, with other less pleasant effects like mental confusion and constipation.


Longer term effects of alcohol can affect anywhere on the body ranging from breast cancer to heart disease or strokes. The more you drink and the more often you drink, the more likely you are to contract alcohol related diseases. Many of these diseases effect vital areas such as your liver, mouth, throat, bowel and heart.

Heart disease and Liver disease are most common among heavy drinkers, followed by strokes, breast cancer and fertility problems in women.

Alcohol Campaigns and harm minimisation strategies;

Harm minimisation strategies include planning transport, avoiding areas that have voilent alcohol influenced reputations and staying with/looking after friends. A public alcohol awareness group called "alcohol-think-again" aims to prevent alcohol problems and increase understanding. The website alcoholthinkagain.com.au has started up a public campaign to increase awareness and understanding of the effects of alcohol.

The Campaign is known as "what yo can't see", their key message is to reduce the risk of alcohol caused diseases and increase knowledge that harmful alcohol use can cause both long and short term ill-health conditions.

Alcohol laws in Victoria (Australia)

Alcohol Laws in Victoria include age limits, liquor licenses, permits and serving licenses.


The legal alcohol consumption age in Victoria is 18, and the minimum age to be in a bar without parental supervision or serving alcohol is also 18.

However bars and liquor stores need to have licenses and selling permits to distribute alcohol. These distributors also need to follow strict guidelines such as refusing service to underaged or drunk customers.

Other permits/licenses are BYO permit which allows customers to bring their own liquor and full club licenses that allow for bars to serve larger numbers of people.

Practical and reasonable strategies for coping with alcohol consumption pressure.

Three good strategies to use are;

  1. Remove yourself from the situation, don't give in to drinking for the sake of it.
  2. Explain WHY you don't want an alcoholic drink
  3. Become the designated driver! You can still have a fun night out and get home safely while looking out for your friends.

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Frankston and Mornington Drug and Alcohol Service (FaMDAS)


About FaMDAS

Peninsula Heath is the lead consortium member for the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Drug and Alcohol Services (FaMDAS). FaMDAS are the central intake point for Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services across Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula. FaMDAS provides AOD treatment that is tailored to meet individual client needs and preferences.


Contact;


  1. Frankston Integrated Health Centre
    Hastings Road
    Frankston VIC 3199
  2. Hastings Community Health
    185 High Street
    Hastings VIC 3915
  3. Rosebud Community Health
    38 Braidwood Avenue
    Rosebud VIC 3939


Contact;

ACCESS on 1300 665 781 or Fax 03 9787 9954

Alcohol Overdose first aid.

Alcohol taken in excess can have a serious effects on the body. In the early stages the patient may be unaware of hazards, with loss of coordination, and is at risk of injury.

Unfortunatley there isn't always much you can do, however you can follow these three steps to ensure help.


1. Assess the patient

  • Check the level of consciousness. If the patient is not fully conscious and alert, turn them onto their side and ensure they are not left alone.


2. Reassure the patient

  • Talk to the patient in a quiet and reassuring manner.
  • Sometimes patients may become agitated. Enlist friends or family to calm and reassure the patient. Consider calling the police if the safety of the patient or others becomes threatened.


3. Identify alcohol usage and call for an ambulance

  • Ask what the patient has taken, how much was taken, when it was taken
  • Call ambulance and relay information

Safety Measures

Three safety measures you can take at a party or social event to avoid falling victim to alcohol use are;


  1. Eat well before you leave home. A full stomach slows the absorption of alcohol.
  2. Drink in moderation. Don’t let others top up your drinks and go for low alcohol options wherever possible.
  3. Keep your wits about you and stay close to friends you trust.


A last and final tip is leave for somewhere safe if you feel unsafe at a venue or party.

Alcohol Myth; Caffiene (or a cold shower) can sober you up

Many people say drinking coffee can help to sober you up, but you might also hear that you can sober up by taking a cold shower. Unfortunately, neither of these things work.

Studies show that drinking a cup of coffee can counter alcohol’s sleepiness effect, just like a cold shower, but it can’t sober you up any quicker.

You get less drunk as your body metabolises alcohol, and you can’t speed that process up.

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