Wellbeing: Alcohol Awareness
A message from the Wellbeing Team:
As we come to the end of Michaelmas term and into the festive season, we know it’s a time for parties and celebrations, and so it should be. You’ve all worked incredibly hard, and we want you to be able to kick back and have fun. We also know that for many, this will include alcohol and that this combination can result in a continuum of experiences that can, at times, compromise mental and physical health.
As the Wellbeing Team, we care and we want to help you have fun while at the same time avoid having things go wrong, resulting in unwanted, consequences for your life at University. As such, we wanted to give you information and ideas that highlight how partying and looking after yourself can co-exist….!
- Alcohol is a depressant. It disrupts the balance of chemicals in our brain affecting our thoughts, feelings and actions. The more we drink, regardless of mood, it’s likely that at some point negative emotions will take over leading to a negative impact on mental health.
- Alcohol and anti-depressants are not a good combo; the combination can make you feel sick, drowsy and dizz. TCs and MAOIs are worse than SSRIs and SNRIs.
- Alcohol increases the risk of accidents resulting in injury, causing death in some cases.
- Alcohol increases the risk of misjudging risky situations.
- Alcohol increases the risk of losing self-control e.g. engaging in unintended sexual activity or getting involved in violence.
- Limit how much you drink. Respect your own limits and those of your friends.
- Drink more slowly.
- Alternate with water.
- Keep an eye out for others who could do with a helping hand to call it a day.
- Have some idea of the amount of alcohol you’re consuming and remember that binge drinking will make all the above problems much worse.
You can find further information on these links:
NHS Alcohol Units Guide.
University Counselling Service Self-help page (including managing alcohol consumption)
NHS Drink Less page (including the Drink Free Days app).
By Sarah Parkin, Counsellor