The following is a diagram that the effect of alcohol on your brain and ability to function. Even before someone reaches the “legal limit*” of .08, your functioning can be impaired, so it’s important to take care and moderate your drinking and be aware of your actions.
Consequences of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking, even one time, can carry significant consequences. Through a SAMHSA STS grant, Safe Out surveyed the local Maricopa LGBTQ community to find out more about their behaviors and attitudes around substance use. The community reported the following as consequences of substance and excessive alcohol use:
- 19.1% reported having unprotected sex
- 18.5% reported doing something they later regretted
- 14% forgot where they were/what they did
- 7.7% seriously considered suicide
- 5.8% physically injured themselves
- 3.5% got into trouble with the police
- 3.8% had sex without giving consent
- 2.9% had sex without getting consent
- 2.9% physically injured another person
Tips for Staying Safe
We don’t want you to experience the above or any other consequences during or after a night of binge drinking. So here are just a few ideas on how you can enjoy summer safely!
-Drink in moderation – Binge drinking can have a serious impact on your health, including brain, heart, and liver function. Binge drinking is generally defined as 4 to 5 drinks in one setting, depending on gender assigned at birth, so slow it down.
-Pace yourself – Your liver processes one drink per hour. Pace yourself by taking sips, and drinking water and eating food between drinks. Drinking water also keeps you hydrated and replenishes the water your body loses while drinking or when out in the heat.
-Partner up – When going out to the bar or to a party, bring a trusted friend with you so you can keep each other safe and accountable.
-Use your designated driver – A designated driver is not the person who had the least to drink, or only beer, or stopped drinking 30 minutes ago – It is the person who has agreed to abstain from alcohol for the night to help get you home safely. If you don’t have a DD, please call a cab. If you’re out at the bars, you can even ask your bartender to call a cab for you.
-Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs- This includes prescription drugs, illicit substances, and over the counter medications. Safe Out also advises avoiding mixing caffeine and alcohol, as this combination can also cause significant impairments and health related consequences.
-Use extra caution around water – According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, half of all water recreation deaths among teens and adults involved alcohol. Whether you’re hitting the pool, heading to the coast, or hanging at the lake, do not go swimming or operate a boat if you have been drinking or using other substances.
-Feel empowered to make decisions that promote your health and wellness – Always remember that you matter! You have the autonomy to make decisions you need to keep yourself safe and happy.
Resources for Referrals, Treatment, and Recovery Support
Safe Out is not a treatment provider, and we are not an abstinence-only program, but we can certainly connect you to resources if you’re looking for alcohol free events, treatment for alcoholism, support around sobriety, or a way to connect to your community in a positive, healthy way. Here are some resources to get you started –
LGBTQ Consortium & Safe Out
Lambda Recovery Center
If you’d like more information, please attend our meetings, or request a Safe Out workshop for your group! We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.