eheadspace Group Chat
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Group Chat
Alcohol and Other Drugs
March 19th 2015 @ 12am AEDT
Many people feel pressured to drink alcohol or take drugs. If you choose to use, it should be on your terms. There is no ‘safe way’ to drink alcohol or take drugs, however if you are choosing to use, it is important that you use as safely as possible.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Michelle: Hi and welcome to the March live info session!
Today we're discussing alcohol and other drugs.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Michelle: Joining us in the forum today we have eheadspace clinicians Ange, Laura, Z and Michelle. As well as Graham from Headspace School Support NSW, and Jay the Headspace manager of alcohol and other drugs.
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Comment From Gaham
HI Michelle
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Michelle: Please feel free to ask any questions or contribute any comments you might have. There's no such thing as a silly question.
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Comment From Freddy
I'm a 21 year old man, If I binge drink every weekend with my friends, is this an issue?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Jay: Hi Freddy, thanks for posting. I'm just thinking that if you're wondering, it's possible it is an issue for you. Things to think about are how it's impacting your life - for example, is it making you miss work? are hangovers meaning that you can't do stuff you've said that you would do? the other thing to consider is the long term impact of binge drinking on your health. A good link for you would be: http://yodaa.org.au/youth/what-binge-drinking
it's great that you contacted us.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Comment From Phillip
If I had to choose between drinking or smoking weed, what would you recommend? What is likely to do less damage?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Ange: Hi Phillip - I would say that both have their risks and neither one is better than the other. Alcohol, whilst legal when you are over 18 years, it can have serious implications to your health if you are not drinking within the recommended safe limits - approx. 1 std drink per hour. Cannabis has risks that can impact your respiratory system and its illegal. Both can have serious impacts on your mental health and lifestyle. There is no easy answer for this and it depends on each individual.
You can check out more info at:
and
Good question!!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Michelle: Here's an interesting comment from one of our participants...
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Comment From Michelle
I actually think that drinking culture has lessened since I was a teen but what it actually is that the media coverage of it has increased exponentially. That's my thought. What do you think?
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Comment From Drew
My friend doesn't drink that much but does it more often then me. I don't drink much but I drink heaps when I do. Who is better off?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:12 pm
Zee: Hey Drew,
Alcohol affects everybody differently. One thing we do know is that Binge Drinking is generally more dangerous than drinking small amounts of alcohol. Butttt…….at the same time, it is generally recommended to have 3 alcohol free days after drinking even small amounts of alcohol. ;)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From E
I have a friend who, in order to deal with her decent break-up. has taken to alcohol to try to deal with it.
Participant
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28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From E
and won't listen to me when i suggest against it as I have a problem with drugs and alcohol myself. So how do I get my opinions across without just being a hypocrite?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Laura: Hey E - I can hear you have some worries about your friend who seems to be using alcohol to deal with her break-up...
Break-ups can be pretty horrible...and people can experience very painful emotions...
There are lots of different ways ppl cope when they are struggling with coming to terms with a break-up and alcohol is one of them - I guess it can be a way to momentarily escape the pain...
of course in the longer term, this kind of approach means that ppl avoid dealing with their reality, and often drinking alcohol and using other drugs can actually make things worse- as on top of your grief of losing a partner the drugs and alcohol have a negative impact on your mood - not to mention the hangover!
But how to help your friend see this? I can understand it is difficult if you are feeling like a hypocrite - but to be honest I think this means that you are probably in a position where you can really relate. Perhaps rather than focusing on telling her what to do - you can just be honest about your concerns, listen to how she is feeling, and help her see the short/long term impact of drinking to solve problems. At the end of the day though, it is her decision.
Good luck!! :))
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From Lilly
I am turning 18 very very soon how offten should we be drinking alcohol
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Ange: Hi Lily
I have some info about safe drinking below.
Have a look and let us know what you think:
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From Sarah
I'm a 18 year old girl, I use alcohol to make myself more confident and outgoing because normally I'm quiet and shy. i tend to just drink to change the person i really am. Is this a bad thing?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Jay: Hi Sarah
thanks for contacting us today, it's great to hear from you. in answer to your question, it's really normal for people to drink because it makes them feel more confident, or because they have more fun and become more outgoing. So there's no real wrong or right in this situation it's just how you feel about it. I wonder if there are other things that you can do that might make you feel less anxious when you are in those kinds of social situations apart from alcohol? Just something to consider - there are lots of great online resources you could consider looking at, or you could even talk to one of the counsellors at eheadspace just to have a look at that stuff. Other things you might want to consider are drinking safely - making sure that you try to stick to two standard drinks an hour and then one an hour after that, making sure that you drink non-alcoholic drinks in between just to make sure you don't get too drunk...make sure you have a way to get home safely. If you've thought about all that, then I reckon have fun and take care.
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From Sarah
Thank you :)
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28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From Lucy
What's this chat about? I don't really understand the nature of the topic. 'The low down on alcohol and other drugs' What kind of drugs? Legal, illegal drugs and/or drugs like medication like anti-depressants? I'm really curious! Sorry for asking!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Jay: Hi Lucy
We are really talking about legal and illicit drugs - alcohol, ecstasy, prescription drugs like valium, over the counter stuff like codeine. We're not really delving into that other stuff - you could talk to your local GP if you needed to know more about that stuff. Hope that clears it up.
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From J.
I'm turning 18, and honestly, don't care about drinking or anything.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Laura: Hey J - drinking is definitely not for everyone - good on you for knowing what you care about and what you don't. Really it is whatever floats your boat right?!
Participant
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28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From Graham
E Friendships are about the long haul. Sometimes its about just being there, others its about saying your piece and others its about accepting its their choice at that time. The trick is to stay connected, show you care no matter what and keep coming back to issues that cause you concern.
Participant
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28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From J.
That's correct :) people are like, oh what are you doing for your 18th. I'm like, sitting in my room, on my computer, that or just chilling with my girlfriend.. I love that plan.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Laura: We love that plan too :)
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From Amanda
how do you explain to your children why their other parent drinks every day and how they change when they are drunk?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Ange: Hi Amanda
That's a tricky one. I would recommend you contact Family Drug Help on 1300 660 068. They offer services to family members who are experiencing difficulties with a loved one.
The weblink is:
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From Lily
thank you Ange I found it great thank you. What is this chat about?? Can we still be on here if we don't use any of these?? And why does people use these things
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Zee: Hi Lily, our pleasure....
This chat is for anyone really. Sometimes it's good to be curious!
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Comment From C
Do you think it's important to taste/know what alcohol is like before you turn 18??
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Jay: hi C - I don't, but that's a very subjective thing. I'm interested in whether you do though. It's really up to you - lots of people try alcohol before they turn 18, lots of people don't. what's probably most important is to be well informed about the effects of alcohol, not so much what the taste is like!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:13 pm
Ange: Do I have a drinking / drug use problem?
Many people find drinking alcohol or doing drugs to be fun and enjoyable… but how do we know when our drinking or drug use has become a problem? Some warning signs that might indicate that you have a problem with drinking or drug use include: having blackouts, drinking or using drugs alone, keeping secrets from your friends or family, needing an increasing amount of alcohol or drugs to get the same effects as before, and regularly engaging in binge-drinking or high amounts of drugs. You might want to ask yourself some questions like: am I drinking or using drugs to escape from my problems? Do I drink or use drugs when I am angry or upset? Is my work or studies being affected by my drinking or drug use? Have other people commented about my drinking or is it affecting my friendships?..... If so, it might be worth talking with someone about your drinking behaviours.
Here is a link to a tool that can help you work out where you are at with your drug and alcohol use:
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Comment From Graham
HI Sarah Overcoming the urge to be a wallflower in social situations is really common. Having to talk in public is a really common fear many of us have. Its tempting to soften the urge through alcohol but more effective in the long run is take small steps at being "out there" and confident and congratulating yourself on each step. Its about practice. In time you will know you can be confident in public places because you have done it so much and soon it will come naturally.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Michelle: Tips for safe drinking / drug use:
Have a plan: Drugs can be risky, always plan what and how much you are taking. Let someone know what your plan is.
Stay connected: never use drugs alone. If using drugs while out or partying, stay close to your friends and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember to look out for your mates, too. Keep an eye on them if they get sick, make sure they are okay to get home and don't let them get into risky situations.
Don’t risk the mix: Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs
Drink water: dehydration and overheating are big dangers with substance use. Try to get some water in between alcoholic drinks.
Be in control: Taking too many drugs can take the fun out of drugs and make for a scary experience. Avoid overdose or dangerous situations by understanding safe levels of use.
Smart and clean: Whatever drugs you do, always make sure that the tools you use are hygienic to minimise the risk of infections and disease.
Balance: Try having days and weekends without drinking. Avoid drinking or doing drugs if you have school, uni or work the next day.Instaed of drinking or doing drugs to manage your mood temporarily, try exercise or meditation to tackle stress or anxiety.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Laura: OK so I question for the panel - how do you guys stay safe at a party?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Michelle: You can party safely by:
- Having a plan before you go out, including how to get help if needed and transport options.
- Ordering your own drinks, and keeping them with you. This is a good tactic to avoid drink-spiking as it will make it much harder for someone, whether it's a stranger or someone you know, to get near enough to your drink to contaminate it.
- Avoiding getting too drunk by spacing your drinks out, drinking something without alcohol in it, and drinking slowly and sensibly.
- Avoiding fights, and trying to resolve them without becoming aggressive.
- Remembering to practice safe sex strategies if you decide to have sex.
Participant
Participant
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Comment From Graham
For me its point 2 and five in Michelle tips. In parties I am a friend and know if I need a friend. Its a huge leap of faith to lose control.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Laura: Some great ideas Michelle and Graham - and I agree - it's the people around you who can keep you safe - also knowing your limits! When things get messy it is not fun for anyone :(
Does anyone else participating today have any ideas for staying safe while getting their party on?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Laura: only 10 minutes left for the live info session today...we would love to answer some more questions if you have them!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Ange: Hey everyone
here's some links for you to chase up at another time:
Links/ resources for General information
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Michelle: That brings us to a close today. Hopefully we have managed to answer all of your questions - We appreciate you taking the time to join us and applaud you for trying to stay educated on this important issue. Stay safe :)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Michelle: Thanks to our special guest Jay and Graham. As well as the eheadspace team.
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28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Comment From Graham
thanks Michelle. Well done. Cheers Graham
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Jay: Thanks everyone!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm
Zee: Bye people =) have a good night!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
28th Aug, 3:14 pm