Alcohol

It is expected that during their time at university, many students will form a relationship with alcohol. However, it is important that you know your limits and are aware of the affects that excessive drinking can have.

How much should you be drinking?

The government advises a maximum of 3-4 units a day for men and 2-3 units for women. This is nothing to do with how much each gender can ‘take’, but rather the natural difference in physique. Many other factors will determine how alcohol affects you, such as body weight and metabolism, so don’t try and keep up with others.

Saving up your units to ‘spend’ on a big night out doesn’t count. Binge drinking is a significant problem amongst young people in the UK, and leads to a whole host of social problems, from anti-social behavior to risky sexual behaviours.

With student nightlife centered around drinking, most students will drink more alcohol than is recommended. The key is to drink responsibly; aim to have a good time without sacrificing your health or safety. Learn to monitor your own intake and that of your friends. Know when you’ve had enough and don’t drink yourself into a state where you can’t function properly.

 

Alcohol

Units

Wine (standard 175ml glass ABV 13%)

 

750ml Bottle

2.3 units

 

10 units

Beer, Lager and Cider (Pint at 4% ABV)

2.3 units

25ml Single spirit mixer (1 shot at 40% ABV)

1 unit

To put it in perspective for you, it is advised that you drink no more than 1 or 2 glasses of wine or 1 or 2 pints of alcohol in a day. Please remember that different alcohols will have different ABV percentages. The stronger the alcohol, the higher the units.

You’re young, you’re free and you’re determined to enjoy yourself. In British culture socialising and alcohol are heavily entwined, and never more so than during your student days. Pubs, bars and clubs clamour for your business, offering cheap drinks that quickly vanish down the throat. After all, when strong alcoholic drinks are sometimes cheaper than non-alcoholic alternatives, it can be difficult not to over-indulge.

However the physical and mental effects on your body aren’t just limited to a few hours’ worth of hangovers but can have much more serious implications. As alcohol affects your ability to make sensible decisions, it’s easy to make mistakes that you later regret. But these can vary from the embarrassment of kissing someone in your halls to making the potentially deadly decision to lie down outside in the cold. So it’s important to be aware of the dangers.

How long should I leave between drinking?

If you drink in moderation, rather than trying to imitate the lifestyle of drunken Dave who hasn’t been sober since Fresher’s week, then you can partake every day. However after a heavy session you should ideally give your body 48 hours to recover.

What’s the best way to deal with a hangover?

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you dehydrated. For every pint of alcohol you drink your body loses 1.25 pints of water. The more you drink, the more dehydrated you become and the worse you feel the next day. Despite any advertisements, the only way to deal with dehydration is to hydrate.

You should ideally try and drink water throughout your evening. However, if this doesn’t happen, the best time is before you go to sleep. If you forget completely you’re sure to feel it. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and take pain-killers if necessary. Alcohol can often lead to a bad night’s sleep, so get an early night.

Alcohol Dependency

It is estimated that 1 in 10 men in the UK show since of alcohol dependency and 1 in 20 women. Being dependent on alcohol means you feel you’re not able to function without it, that drinking becomes an important, or sometimes the most important, factor in your life.

Some people may turn to alcohol at times when they are feeling overly stressed, or if they have been experiencing feelings of sadness or ‘depression’. It is important to remember that alcohol is a depressant and this will not help you in these circumstances. In fact it may make you worse. If you or a friend are turning to alcohol for the above reasons, this is a sign that you may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

 If you think that you or a friend have developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and would like to seek advice or help for this, please see the links below;

http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/

http://www.addaction.org.uk/

http://www.talktofrank.com/

There is also support available at the university provided by Taith Cymru. This is an organisation that offers advice and information on drug and alcohol issues. They offer one-to-one drop in sessions for students on the first Tuesday of every month. These are between 5 and 7pm at the Student Support Centre 50 Park Place.