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Students and Binge Drinking

Signs of Binge Drinking, Guidelines and Information for Parents

Students drinking

As students head off to college this autumn, many will be experiencing their first-ever taste of freedom away from home. Inevitably, drinking alcohol will form a major part of their new lifestyle for many new students.

Research has shown the majority of students drink twice the recommended weekly units. Binge drinking, concentrated at weekends, is more dangerous than spreading their alcohol intake throughout the week.

As well as being at risk of personal injury (a third of students at college have an accident when drunk), students' binge drinking does more damage to long-term health and is more likely to lead to alcohol dependency problems.

Drinking Guidelines for Students

  • Remember, you don't have to drink to have a good time
  • If you drink to give yourself confidence and be the life-and-soul of the party, one drink too many and you are more likely to be a crashing bore or an embarrassment to everyone
  • Set yourself a sensible limit and stick to it
  • Try and have a meal before going out and ensure you drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated
  • Avoid buying in rounds - this can make you drink more - and pace yourself
  • Choose drinks with lower-alcohol content rather than stronger beers and spirits
  • Try not to mix drinks - this increases the range of toxins your body has to deal with and worsens a hang-over
  • Drink a pint of water before you go to bed
  • Remember, alcohol is basically a poison which is why you experience a hang-over. Drink enough of it and it will kill you
  • Get a friend to video you when you are drunk and play it to you when you are sober

What are the Danger Signs of Binge Drinking?

  • Blackouts - periods of time you cannot account for when drunk
  • Regularly missing lectures or other commitments due to a hangover or the need to drink instead
  • Daytime drinking in the week - worse still if you do this alone
  • Craving alcohol
  • Drinking in the morning to control a hang-over or the shakes
  • Injuring yourself repeatedly when drunk
  • Having attempted to cut back, find it impossible
  • Making excuses e.g I only drink lager, I know someone who drinks a lot more than me
  • Getting annoyed if someone mentions the amount you drink

How can Parents Recognise if their Child has a Binge Drinking Problem?

  • The odour of alcohol at unexpected times of day
  • Sudden change in mood or attitude
  • Change in attendance or performance at college
  • Loss of interest in college, sports, or other activities
  • Discipline problems
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Secrecy
  • Association with a new group of friends and reluctance to introduce them to you
  • Alcohol disappearing from your home
  • Depression and developmental difficulties

For more information about drinking problems and students contact Lynwode Manor.

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