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Well, a little of it may be good for us.
It can lower anxiety levels in anxious people, and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
However alcohol abuse or addiction can have disastrous effects on our health, relationships, social life, academic performance, career and financial position.
Drinking is associated with many social gatherings, and in some cases is a cultural or sub-cultural expectation. People drink for many reasons including fun, relaxation, avoidance of feelings and problems or unresolved issues from the past, or just feeling lonely or stressed out.
Common myths include a belief that you are not responsible for your behaviour if you are drunk. The University is clear that you are liable for any property or personal damage or grievance that might arise out of your drinking behaviour. Hall contracts and fees are binding for the entire academic year even if you are dismissed from the hall for drunken or disorderly behaviour.
Alcohol is a depressant; it slows the brain, gradually switching off the various parts of the brain
The frontal lobes of the brain control judgment, and are usually the first parts to be affected by alcohol. People start doing things they wouldn’t normally do, and become uninhibited. This loss of self-control makes people more likely to give in to impulse and become aggressive or sexually inappropriate. Shame and embarrassment can follow when sober.
Effects on motor areas of the brain include slurred speech, staggering and spilling drinks. Perception changes include distortion of ability to judge depth or speed, so you may be confused about speed of oncoming cars. As hearing (and vision) are affected, you may notice people speaking louder and louder as they drink.
Eventually, with enough alcohol intake vital brain areas responsible for consciousness and heart and lung function are effected. Passing out and paralysis occurs, and sometimes even death by alcohol poisoning.
Drinking can be a problem when it poses a serious health risk, or the behaviour associated with your drinking interferes with your life in some way. This can be in terms of your ability to sustain healthy relationships, function effectively at work, study or socialise. It may also negatively affect the way you manage your finances and meet your personal commitments.
Some people choose not to drink. If you do choose to drink responsibly then:
More information or advice on alcohol can be obtained from doctors and other health professionals such as counsellors. Alcohol and drug units are found in city hospitals, and community support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can be found in your local telephone book under "Personal Help Services."
You may like to check out what you are doing or can do to help yourself drink responsibly.
Or use these links for other self check scales:
Look after yourself
Copyright notice© Crown copyright 2008, Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand
If you would like to make an appointment to see a counsellor to learn more about this topic please contact the counselling service on your campus. Distance students can contact any one of the campuses.
Please tell the receptionist if you need an urgent appointment.
Albany: Health and Counselling Centre Monday to Friday 8.30 am - 5.00 pm. Telephone (09) 213 6700.
Manawatu: Student Counselling Service, Turitea Campus, Monday to Friday 8.30 am - 5.00 pm (8.30 - 4.30 during semester breaks). Telephone (06) 350-5533.
Wellington: Student Counselling Service, The Student Services Trust @ Wellington, Monday to Friday 8.30 am - 4.30 pm. Telephone (04) 801-2542.
Page authorised by Regional Registrars
Last updated on Tuesday 29 November 2016