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Showing posts from August, 2015

Alcohol vapour, 'alcohol-soaked tampons', powdered alcohol, alcohol enemas and plain old drinking games: Why do some people feel the need to get drunk as quickly as possible?

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The story that came out of the UK earlier this week about the bar that pumps an alcoholic vapour into the air ("a sweet mist that smells like a delicious gin and tonic") got me thinking about other ways that people have come up with to get drunk and how they are usually designed to ensure that it happens as quickly as possible.  As the article said:

"Inhalation ... is an extremely efficient approach. Compared to swallowing the stuff, which means travelling through the stomach and intestine before entering the bloodstream and hitting the brain, inhaling it is ever so much faster ... It's also dangerous. Breathe in too much too fast and you risk alcohol poisoning."

Coincidentally, I was asked questions about alcohol vapour twice this week by students, both by young men who wanted to know what risks were involved in the practice. When asked where they had heard about this method of intoxication both told me that they had been sent links to YouTube videos via social…

What does '4 drinks' actually mean as far as a young person is concerned? How much are they actually drinking?

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Earlier this week I discussed (again) the bizarre phenomenon of parents hosting post-formal events who include on the invitation that those young people attending are able to bring up to four cans to drink at the event. As I said then ... "Do the parents hosting this event realize how much alcohol that actually is?" Even if each can (or bottle) was the equivalent of one standard drink (which it rarely is), that is still four standard drinks ... The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking recommends that "for healthy men and women, drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion" - and that's for adults! No number of drinks is recommended for those under 18 years of age, with the guidelines stating that "not drinking alcohol is the safest option."

Once again, I realize that 'not drinking alcohol' is not realistic for many young people, but t…

Risky parties and gatherings: What can a parent say to keep their teen as protected as possible?

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Recently I was contacted by a parent who had recently attended one of my presentations and was concerned about an event that his son was going to attend. As with many of the emails I receive about concern regarding events, this one also had to do with a post-formal party. As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, these are events I feel very strongly about and, as I always say, so often the parents who put them on are often completely unaware of the potential risks and the almost impossible position they put other parents into when they make the rules they do. The parent's email read as follows:
"After listening to you speak my wife and I are now struggling with how to deal with our 17 year-old son attending a post-formal party he has been invited to ... We have great problems with the party and its rules around alcohol consumption (the parents hosting have specified those wanting to drink may bring no more than 4 drinks with a note from their parent!). Our son is a non-dri…

Can 'ice' (or any other drug for that matter) really cause 'superhuman strength'?

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There are so many urban myths around drugs and drug use, some that have been around for decades. With the continuing interest in methamphetamine (or 'ice') in this country it is not surprising that some of the media commentary that we see in this area contains some so-called 'facts' that are actually based on urban myths that have been disproved time and time again ... One of the classic drug myths repeated in a number of media stories this week was around the ability of 'ice' to give users 'superhuman strength'.

The myth that certain drugs can have this effect goes back to the late 1970s when there were reports of little old ladies who had used a drug called PCP ('angel dust') and had been able to lift up cars. Over the years US media outlets have reported that the same drug enabled users to break free of metal handcuffs (all stories later proven to be completely untrue). Some may remember the Rodney King story where an African American man was…