Alcohol, Drugs & Consent
Deciding whether to drink is a personal decision that we each eventually have to make.
This section of the website provides some information on alcohol including some facts about alcohol and how it affects your body so you can make an educated choice. When enjoyed in moderation, alcohol can bring pleasure and relaxation. However, alcohol can be misused and lead to dependency in some and there are certain times when it should be avoided completely, such as when driving, pregnant and on certain medications.
What happens to alcohol in the body?
Once alcohol is swallowed it then absorbs into your bloodstream through the tissue lining the stomach and the small intestine. Food, water and fruit juice help to slow this absorption-that’s why alcohol affects you more quicly on an empty stomach.
Once alcohol is in your blood stream, it is carried to all the organs in your body- heart, brain, muscles and other tissues. The affects of alcohol on your body will vary according to the individual: their gender, size, health, their amount and type of alcohol consumer and the presence of food in the stomach.
Alcohol and the next day
The next day after drinking, many people suffer from hangovers; hangovers usually affect people in the form of headaches, stomach sickness, dizziness and the lack of concentration. Hangovers are the result of your body being dehydrated as all your bodily fluids are being used to counteract the toxins that are taken in with alcohol.
You should be aware of how your body is affected the next day after drinking. How much alcohol you have taken in will affect you the following day so be cautious when you are carrying on with your regular routine especially when driving.
It takes 1 hour for your body to breakdown 1 unit of alcohol, only once all units are broken down will your body be free from alcohol again and continue with your regular daily routine again.
1 pint is no = to 1 unit!
1 pint of beer = 2 units!
1 measure of spirits=1 unit!
Example calculating units.
2 pint + 2 vodkas= 4 units + 2 units= 6 units
Facts about alcohol
Did you know that…
- 30% of college failure is alcohol related
- Every 7 hours, someone in Ireland dies from an alcohol related illness.
- 3 in 10 crash deaths are alcohol related
- Alcohol is a mood altering substance. It affects the nerves that pass messages round the body by slowing them down
- There is no two ways about it- heavy drinking especially on a regular basis can lead to serious health problems
- Many cancers, including cancer of the mouth, liver and female breast have a casual relationship to alcohol consumption
Tips for a Good Night Out
Here are some helpful tips to ensure you have a good night out:
- Plan how you’re going to get home before you leave. Make sure you’ve got numbers for taxis and keep aside enough money to get home safely.
- Eat before you go out, or during the evening.
- Ideally avoid getting involved in a round. Alternatively, limit rounds to 2 or 3 friends. If you find yourself in a round but feel that others are drinking faster than you – or over recommended limits – it’s OK to skip a drink. Also feel free to remove yourself from the round altogether.
- Drink water regularly to stay refreshed and hydrated. Use soft drink beverages to pace yourself.
- Remember that too much drink will do nothing for your looks – you’re drop dead gorgeous until you drop down drunk.
- And don’t succumb to the beer goggles effect – you might think you’ve met your dream date – until the effect wears off.
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended – it’s all too easy for someone to spike your drink with more alcohol or a drug
Taken from www.drinkaware.ie.
Drug use and abuse and its effects have become more and more prevalent in Irish society. For information on the drugs you may encounter when on nights out or when you might least expect it, check out the following resources:
A Guide to UK-based Free Addiction Helplines by Paul at Cassiobury Court.
If you or a friend have tried drugs or drank alcohol and are experiencing an adverse reaction, here are some good tips for dealing with that situation. We will advise that in any emergency, please call the emergency services for professional medical help. This advice is not intended to replace medical advice nor should it be interpreted as such. This info is to help you while you wait for emergency services, or before it escalates to an extent where the emergency services are required. If in doubt, please phone 999 or 112 and explain your situation, they are there to help you no matter what is going on.
What is consent?
Consent means that both people in a sexual encounter must agree to it, and either person may decide at any time that they no longer consent and want to stop the activity.
Consenting to one behavior does not obligate you to consent to any other behaviors. Consenting on one occasion also does not obligate you to consent on any other occasion.
Consenting means only that at this particular time, you would like to engage in this particular sexual behavior.
How do you determine consent?
To determine if someone is giving consent, you must be able to answer two questions:
- Does the person want to give consent?
- Is the person capable of giving consent?
The easiest way to determine if a person wants to give consent is simply to ask. This eliminates the uncertainty of guessing and trying to interpret signals.
Someone putting his or her hand on your hand might be a way of indicating that she or he likes what you’re doing or a way of indicating that she or he would like you to stop.
The only way to be sure is to ask.
A person may also give consent non-verbally by actively engaging in the sexual act. Clearly, this implied consent is more difficult to gauge, and if your partner seems to become more hesitant or uncomfortable, you should stop. Reassure your partner that you don’t want to do anything she or he doesn’t also want to do, and ask him or her what’s wrong.