Are you someone who:
- Is always the last to leave the party
- Makes a fool of himself/herself when drunk, saying things you would later regret
- Shows up late for work or school because of a hangover
- Sometimes has lapses in memory
- Does not know when to stop once you have started drinking
- Feels guilty and reproaches himself/herself because of drinking
- Feels you are wittier, more confident, happier, more good looking when drinking alcohol and who enjoys the feeling of intoxication
- Would like to lose weight
- Has problem concentrating
- Suffers from sleep disorders or generally exhaustion
- Would like to enjoy a better sex life
- Would like to get into better shape physically
- Then it may be a good idea to start thinking about your alcohol consumption.
The general consensus today is that there is a level of alcohol consumption that places an adult more or less in the risk zone. If your weekly alcohol consumption exceeds 14 standard glasses (units), for a male, or 9 standard glasses, for a female, this level is considered to place you in the risk zone.
One standard glass is the same as: 1 50 cl can of ordinary beer (Swedish “folköl") 1 33 cl bottle of strong beer (Swedish “starköl") 1 glass red or white wine 4 cl alcohol, such as whisky etc.
When determining whether your drinking habits are showing signs of being in the risk zone or not, it is not only the total weekly consumption that should be taken into account. If you tend to consume copious quantities on single occasions, this is also defined as risk consumption. This limit applies to a consumption of 5 standard glasses, for a male and 4 glasses, for a female. It is therefore better to spread your consumption over the entire week rather than to drink it all at one and the same time.
The risk of succumbing to alcohol problems is very individual. It does not matter if some of your friends seem to drink more than you do. We are all differently pre-disposed. You must be aware of your own drinking habits and pre-disposition. Alcohol problems are related to your lifestyle. Obviously you cannot become addicted to alcohol if you do not drink; and anyone who persistently drinks too much and too often will definitely become an alcoholic, eventually. However, the time frame is different for different people.
It is fair to say that we all try to convince ourselves that alcohol is a problem for other people, not for strong, socially adapted, outgoing individuals. The problem is this is not true. There is nothing to substantiate the assumption that only lonely, weak or unhappy people become alcoholics. On the contrary, there is research that shows that the impulsive, socially outgoing, sensation-seeking individuals are more likely to be at risk. Neither does it matter whether you become sad or happy when you drink. Having fun and enjoying yourself is just as risky as drowning your sorrows.
To be able to hold ones liquor is not exactly a good thing either. Those individuals who have a high tolerance level tend to get problems more easily than those with a lower tolerance level who become intoxicated after just a couple of drinks. Obviously, this only applies if you refrain from increasing your consumption, since this is a way of increasing ones tolerance level, which happens each time you become intoxicated.
How an individual reacts to alcohol, however, bears no significance. There are those who simply do not feel particularly well from drinking. Some become sleepy, get blotchy outbreaks on the neck or feel slightly nauseous after just one glass of wine. It is highly unlikely that such an individual would become an alcoholic. However, on the other hand there are lots of people who feel great when they are intoxicated and naturally this type of person is more vulnerable.
Tips to minimise the risks of alcohol;
Drink slowly and never on an empty stomach.
Be aware of how much you drink, if necessary keep an “alcohol record" of your consumption.
Alternate one alcoholic drink with one glass of water (or light beer).
Never drink alone.
Choose drinks with lower alcohol content.
Never use alcohol to quench your thirst.
Dare to say no.
Feel free to visit us at the Student Health Care for tips and advice. You can also take a test to determine your drinking habits, anonymously.