News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Keep Safe This Christmas Says Alac

December 8 2005

Alcohol – Facts And Myths - Keep Safe This Christmas Says Alac

1.Myth: Mixing drinks will make you more drunk

Fact: Whatever! Your blood alcohol concentration, otherwise known as BAC - the percent of alcohol in your blood – defines how drunk you are, not the variety of drinks. In standard drinks, beer, ready to drinks, wine, and hard liquor all have equivalent levels of alcohol and will make you equally intoxicated. Alcohol is alcohol.

2.Myth: A cold shower or a cup of coffee will sober me up.

Fact: Come on! None of these methods will work! Nothing can speed up the removal of alcohol from your body once its there. Time is the only thing that can sober you up. The body's processing of alcohol requires a significant amount of time and cannot be sped up. Everyone’s metabolism rates are different and depend upon the liver's ability to break down the alcohol. Drinkers may feel more alert after drinking coffee or taking a cold shower, but the BAC will remain unchanged except for a certain metabolic rate per hour. The reality is you might be awake and look fresh but you're still drunk.

3.Myth: It's none of my business if a friend is drinking too much.

Fact: How will you feel about yourself when you hear they had a shocking argument with their partner, fell over and got hurt or totally made a fool of themselves or worse? If you care, then you should make it your business. You might not be able to change someone but if you care, be honest and maybe your friend will listen.

4.Myth: It would be to my advantage if I could learn how to "hold my liquor".

Fact: Yes, you can develop a tolerance to alcohol but it might not be as you expect. It happens when the amount of alcohol you usually consume no longer gives you a "buzz" so you drink more to feel the same effect. Tolerance is a sign that the liver is being constantly exposed to alcohol and is working overtime to cope. It may also mean you have gone beyond being a social drinker and may be developing a more serious problem with alcohol. So it’s not really a sign that you’re a great drinker and can be proud of it!

5.Myth: Anyone who passes out from drinking too much should be put to bed and allowed to "sleep it off".

Fact: Don’t do this! If a friend has had too much to drink and passes out, the worst thing you can do is drag them into a bedroom away from everyone else and close the door. Why? Well alcohol slows down the heart rate and breathing and lowers the blood pressure.

The amount of alcohol it takes to make you pass out is dangerously close to the amount it takes to kill you. If a friend passes out, place them in the recovery position and watch them closely inn case they vomit. Inhaling vomit into the lungs is an acute emergency and potentially fatal. Do not hesitate to get them medical attention. You may save their life.

6. Myth: People who drink too much only hurt themselves.

Fact: Almost every person who drinks excessively has a parent, grandparent, sibling, best friend, boyfriend girlfriend or child who worries about him or her.

7. Myth: A glass of milk will line your stomach and prevent you getting intoxicated.

Fact: Milk does not prevent you getting intoxicated. Eating a substantial meal will slow down the absorption of alcohol and because the alcohol begins to be broken down and removed from the body you will not get as intoxicated as you would on an empty stomach. However, the amount of alcohol you consume is the most important indicator of how drunk you will get.

8. Myth: Dependency is the biggest problem

Fact: The most acute alcohol-related harms result not from the small percentage of people who are alcohol-dependent but rather from those people who usually drink sensibly, but occasionally over indulge and get excessively drunk and suffer accidental injuries or get involved in fights, drink driving etc.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Kevin Field Quintet

With the hardest pews in town and an icon of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorning the walls, St Peter's Church added a distinctly spiritual element to the debut of three new pieces by Kiwi jazz pianist and composer Kevin Field that celebrated our common humanity. More>>

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

Journalism: An Icon Returns. New-Look North & South Magazine Hits Shelves

One of New Zealand’s most iconic magazines, North & South, is back on the shelves this week – with new independent ownership. The magazine, which has set the benchmark for investigative journalism in New Zealand since 1986, relaunches this week, ensuring ... More>>

Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland