Category Archives: QLD Cheers

Experiences with Alcohol (Interview)

This week we interviewed a member of the community who been visiting our blog for the last few weeks and wanted to talk to us about their own experiences.  We asked them a few questions about their experiences with alcohol and peer pressure, as well as their thoughts on what they could have done differently when they were drinking.

 

Here’s a recap of our interview!

 

Q. First off, how old are you?

A. I’m 22 years old.

Q. How often do you drink alcohol?

A. I actually used to drink a lot more alcohol than I do now.  I used to be one of those guys who go out every weekend, I went clubbing and such all the time but now I’m more of a casual drinker – I don’t know the exact term, is it social drinker? I don’t know, I really only drink, and in low to moderate amounts, when I’m with friends and family in a social gathering or party now – I wouldn’t say I really go to any raging parties though.

Q. Is there anything in particular that contributed to this decline in drinking that you want to mention?

A. I think I just kind of realised that I was spending all my money on making myself sick to be honest, haha.  I had a few slightly scary incidents that did help to put me off drinking a little; I do know of someone close to me that was hospitalised after a pretty horrible case of alcohol poisoning.  They were okay in the end but it was a pretty scary situation for a bit there.

Q. Is alcohol poisoning something you’ve ever suffered from yourself?

A. Not in such an extreme way, but I have definitely been in the situation where I have had far too much to drink and completely lost track of what I was doing, and I think that any situation where you don’t have complete control of what you’re doing can potentially put both you and those around you in danger – and that’s something that is scary to me.

Q. Did you drink when you were underage?

A. Yes, I definitely drank illegally far too often and from quite a young age.

Q. What sort of impact do you think that had on your life, if any?

A. I think it really kind of numbed me to the effects that alcohol could have on people from early on – it was something that everyone was doing and I just joined in with the group.

Q. So peer pressure had a lot to do with your decisions?

A. To an extent, yeah.  I think I was influenced a lot by what others were doing around me but in the end the blame can only really lie with the one who made the decisions, and that was me.  Peer pressure does present a real challenge though because it really has an effect on a lot of people.

Q. Is there anything you’d do differently now if you were faced with those same situations again?

A. I think mainly I’d just try and be a little more responsible when drinking.  It sounds cliché I know, but it freaks me out
a little now to realise how close a lot of my friends and I got to injuring ourselves when we were drinking so much that we had no idea what we were doing.  Personally I think it’s a lot more fun to just be on the buzz alcohol gives you than to be in a state where you have no idea what your name even is anymore.

Thank-you to our anonymous interviewee for answering these few questions for us, it’s our hope that the sharing of experiences like this will help to provide advice and guidance for future readers and community members.  If you have anything you’d like to share with us anonymously or not; or if you want to share your thoughts on this interview, feel free to comment or send us an email – we’d love to hear from you!

 

Cheers!

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Alcohol: Government Advertising

This week, we wanted to showcase a few professional approaches to what we’re trying to achieve here through this blog with some anti-drinking campaign advertisements run by the government.

The Australian Government in particular have been pushing a number of hard-hitting “in your face” ads in the last few years with the hope of making an impact on the numbers of binge-drinkers in the country, particularly those who are of a young age. The ads are aimed at those aged between 15 and 25 years, and they demonstrate the violence, humiliation, and injury that binge-drinking can lead to.

The theme of the campaign is “Don’t turn a night out into a nightmare”. We’re sure you’ve probably seen a number of these ads air over television already, and possibly online or at movie theatres Did they seem like they were effective at promoting their message to you? Do you think they were “in your face” enough to actually have an impact?

 

Here’s one advertisement run by the Australian Government that aired last year. How effective do you think it is? Did it make you care at all watching it, or leave you with any thoughts or feelings afterwards?

Alternatively, we wanted to show you a different approach to an anti-drinking campaign that you may not have seen before. This campaign was run in New Zealand, and takes an entirely different approach with the theme of the ads – instead of scare-tactics, these ads take a more light hearted approach with an effort to incorporate humour into the advertising and message. Do you think the comedic aspect of these ads still manages to get the point across? Take a look:

Did the comedy make this ad more appealing to you? Do you think it still got it’s point across well, or was it too light-hearted to be taken seriously? We’d love to hear your thoughts on these campaigns, and if you’ve seen any ads that you think were effective – please tell us about them. Sometimes media advertising can be the best way to spread a message quickly and extensively, but there’s no point if that message isn’t clear or is being ignored.

 

Lastly, we wanted to leave you with a little bit of fun – here’s a Don’t Turn a Night Out into a Nightmare flash game. In this simple, government-funded game, you choose a character impersonation of yourself and progress along in a board-game-like fashion through a typical “night out” scenario, making choices along the way that can alter how well (or not) your night of partying ends. Will you make responsible choices? Will your night out bring you back home safely after a good time, or will it end in regret? Let us know if your “night out” turned into a nightmare!

 

Until next time,

Cheers!


Guest Post: “My First AA Meeting”

This week, Queensland Cheers is excited to host their first guest post! Michael Webb writes for people wanting to maintain blissful relationships, but this is something near impossible if your loved one is an alcoholic. Michael took the opportunity to attend an AA meeting, and writes about his experience below.

This past week I attended my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
I wish I had gone earlier.

Like most of society I have a little bit of anxiety about the
unknown. I didn’t know what to expect when I agreed to drive a
friend to an AA meeting. Would the room be filled with “scary”
people — those you picture hanging out in seedy bars all night?
Or perhaps everyone in the room would be all straight-laced and
uptight — looking down on everyone who wasn’t as “righteous” as
they were.

There were about 50 people there on the night I took my friend (our
city has meetings every night of the week – sometimes three or four
to choose from each day). It was an “open” meeting so as a
non-alcoholic I was welcome. The people there were no different
from the crowd I might find at the movie theater. There were
teenagers and there were retirees. There were bikers and there
were bankers. Housewifes and waitresses. People arrived in
Jaguars and some came by bus. Some people were quiet and reserved.
Others were outgoing and very warm and friendly.

The meeting lasted about one hour. And in case you were wondering,
you only speak up if you want to. You won’t be called on and asked
to share your testimony.

Now I realize that this information would appear to be useless to
most of you. But if I encourage just one person who reads this
to seek help it will have been worth it. Hopefully you will
never need it for you or your mate but I can almost guarantee you
that you will come across an addict at some point in your life and
maybe the only way he or she will ever become sober is if you
recommend and offer to accompany them to a recovery program.

If a friend (or your mate) confided in you that he or she had a
problem with drugs, food, alcohol, sex, pornography, anger or other
addiction, would you know where to turn? If they had a problem but
didn’t want any help, do you know where YOU could go for
professional support?

It is my prayer that if you have been battling with something and
you keep losing, that you will admit that you are powerless over
your addiction and you will make the second step in overcoming what
is keeping your relationship from being truly blissful.

 

 


Alcohol: Facts, Myths, and Stats

To help kick things off, we wanted to start with some facts and figures about alcohol that you may not have known about. There are so many rumours and myths relating to alcohol it can be confusing to know what’s true and what isn’t. To start off with though, here’s a sobering disclaimer for you: The family of compounds known as alcohols are all toxins that can kill you, whether instantly, quickly, or gradually. Yet one of them – ethyl alcohol, or ethanol – is a staple of the human diet. Archaeologist Patrick McGovern speculates that fermented beverages were made as early as 100,000 years ago, when people first spread out of Africa. According to the Drunken Monkey Hypothesis, our zest for alcoholic beverages derives from our distant ancestors’ impulse to seek the ripest, most energy-intensive fruits. The more you know…

 

Now you may have heard that some alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine are better for you than liquors. This is false. Beer or wine is not safer to drink than liquor. Fact: One beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one glass of wine, or 1 shot of liquor. It is the amount of ethanol consumed that affects a person most, not the type of alcoholic drink.

 

The effect alcohol has on an individual varies greatly and can be attributed to a number of different characteristics; a notable one being body weight. Did you know though that a lean, muscular person will be less affected by drink than someone with more body fat? Water-rich muscle tissue is able to absorb alcohol very effectively, preventing it from reaching the brain.

 

With alcohol, there is no digestion required. Ethanol is such a small, simple molecule that it pours directly out of the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. This is why you’ll find you handle your alcohol more easily with a full stomach – the food absorbs more of the alcohol before it pours through and reaches the small intestine.

 

The real effects alcohol can have on a person are quite startling, and it’s shocking to discover that there is 1 alcohol-related death incident every 31 minutes. That’s insane! That fact alone should be enough to make anyone nervous, especially when coupled with the knowledge that alcohol consumption also clearly increases the risk of cancers (such as lip, tongue, throat, oesophagus, liver, and breast). They’re just statistics though, right? Nothing like that is ever really real until you experience it happening first-hand to someone you know. Here’s a couple of facts that may hit closer to home if you’re familiar with the effect alcohol has on people:

  • As many as 70% of uni students admit to having engaged in sexual activity primarily as a result of being under the influence of alcohol, or to having sex they wouldn’t have had if they had been sober.
  • At least one out of five uni students abandon safe sex practices when they’re drunk, even if they do protect themselves when they’re sober.

 

Don’t forget while you’re downing drinks to wash away regrets that they may in fact lead to new ones – keep an eye on the effect alcohol is having on you. If you’re starting to make decisions you would never make when you’re sober, it’s probably time to start sobering up.

 

Drunkenness is considered an impairment of the neurons in your head, but Australian researchers recently reported that part of the feeling may result instead from the effect of ethanol on the brain’s immune system. This finding could lead to new treatments for alcoholism. On an unrelated note though, did you know that The Malaysian pen-tailed tree shrew routinely chugs the equivalent of nine glasses of wine a night in naturally fermented nectar, and yet remains fully functional? Jealous? Time to start rounding up some new designated drivers!

 

We’ll end with a goal for you this year – don’t worry about the fact that it’s already September, it’s never too late to start a resolution! The carbon dioxide in champagne bottles creates 90 pounds of
pressure per square inch, which is three times the pressure in automobile tires. Flying corks can cause retinal detachment, double vision, and blindness. So don’t stare at the cork!

That is all, remember to vote, and have a great week!

Sources:

http://discovermagazine.com/2011/dec/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-alcohol

http://yportal.com/10-facts-you-didnt-know-about-drinking-alcohol/


Queensland Cheers…

Welcome to the Queensland Cheers Blog!

 

We’re a new and upcoming project built around youth drinking culture in Australia, with a community-centric approach to education. We believe that the fastest track to a safe and responsible drinking environment for youths is through education; and it’s our goal to create a community where Queenslander’s can inform and learn from each other as they step into this culture. Australian youths who are struggling with alcohol and its effects should have a support group they can go to, who don’t just throw facts at them but encourages discussion instead. As a Brisbane-based group, we want to connect with youths in Queensland who may feel vulnerable and work to stop progression towards alcoholism.

 

The Queensland Cheers Blog was founded in order to fill a niche that we feel exists in providing attention and help to Brisbane residents struggling with alcoholism, and aims to provide a safe platform that is both non-judgemental and interesting to its target audience. We want the blog to target youths who are considering embracing the drinking culture, as well as those who want to distance themselves from it or are struggling with pressures surrounding it. It is our hope that by connecting peers with each other in a discussion-based approach we can create a sense of community, where help will always be given to those who ask for it.

 

The online environment of this blog lets users share and engage with each other through interconnected social networks and forums to seek advice and learn from one another, while still granting complete anonymity to those who desire it. We want you, our readers, to feel that you can utilise this comprehensive source of resources in whatever way you need; whether that’s for advice or simply to discuss your own experiences and feelings regarding alcohol and peer-pressure. You have the power to help the community grow, and it’s always possible that your experience could be the advice that helps out someone you never even knew.

 

So what are you waiting for? Join in the discussion and help us work together towards a safer, more enjoyable Queensland.

Cheers to that!