Battling the Binge this Finals Series
We drink to celebrate, commiserate and to socialise. And during sporting events in particular, we’re increasingly drinking to risky levels.
The statistics show that the day of and before sporting events like the Melbourne Cup and AFL Grand Final Day, Ambulance crews are in their highest demand.
Assaults, motor vehicle accidents and ambulance attendances all surge during these periods. While some Australians mark the occasion with binge-drinking and party-pies, it’s certainly no holiday for our emergency services.
When we talk about binge-drinking, we’re speaking about drinking to excess. The Australian Guidelines recommend drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion. Limiting this to two drinks will reduce your lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.
These recommendations are a good guide, but it’s important to note that we all process alcohol differently. Physical factors like our size and weight can have a big effect on how alcohol affects us. Other factors include:
- Whether the person is used to drinking alcohol
- Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
- The amount a person has drunk
- The strength of the drink
Let’s talk finals tactics.
There are many simple ways that we can limit our intake throughout the finals season, making the day memorable for all of the right reasons.
Fill up with a footy feast!
Finals and food go hand in hand. If you’re hosting your mates for the big game, why not fire up the barbeque and make sure that your guests have access to delicious, substantial food.
And if you’re a guest, offer to bring more than just a bag of chips. Get creative and make a healthy salad or sandwiches – the host will thank you for it!
Hydrate with non-alcoholic drinks
As important as it is to provide yummy, nutritious food on finals day, it’s probably even more important to supply a delicious range of non-alcoholic drinks. Encourage people to switch between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks by keeping drinks like water and punch on ice.
Take it one half at a time
Here’s a drinking game that will mean you never miss a moment! Limit your drinking to between each quarter or half. Mindlessly sipping on your drink while the game is in play will make it difficult to keep track of your consumption.
Look out for your mates
Whether it’s you, a mate or a family member in trouble, nobody wants their night to end up in the emergency department. Learn to recognise the effects of alcohol and look after your friends and family if they appear to have had too much to drink.
If you’re the designated driver, take your role seriously. After all, your mates’ lives are in your hands. If you’re even a little bit unsure of your ability to drive, book a taxi so that everyone gets home safely.