In case of emergency, please call triple zero (000)

Table of Contents
Table of Contents
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Embarking on the journey to understand alcohol entails not only the curiosity to learn but also the responsibility to be aware of its effects and the safety precautions one should adhere to. In any concerning situation regarding the immediate health and safety of someone consuming alcohol, it’s imperative to call Triple Zero (000).

Understanding Alcohol

Knowing the facts about how alcohol impacts your body and mind can help you make better decisions about drinking, or help you choose whether or not you want to drink at all.

Alcohol can affect different people in different ways. How much alcohol your body can process depends on your age, weight, gender and how you feel at the time.

What is a standard drink?

The definition of a standard drink varies depending on multiple factors: the type of alcohol, its strength, and the size of the glass. Your Room’s standard drinks calculator is a handy tool to get a clearer understanding—it might be more challenging than you anticipate.

Mitigating Risks

Knowing the Effects of Alcohol

A comprehensive understanding of how alcohol impacts both your body and mind is crucial. It aids in making informed decisions about drinking. Resources like Your Room and Reach Out provide detailed insights on the effects of alcohol and binge drinking respectively.

Getting Professional Advice

Concerns about one’s or another individual’s drinking habits should be addressed by consulting a doctor, youth worker, or health service. They provide a starting point to tackle the issue.

Alcohol-Related Emergencies

The signs of alcohol-related emergencies range from being unable to wake someone up to severe vomiting or irregular breathing. In such cases, calling Triple Zero (000) is essential. It’s also crucial to inform the paramedics about the alcohol or drug intake to get the right help.

Signs of an alcohol-related emergency:

  • If you can’t wake someone up.
  • If they are vomiting a lot or they can’t stop vomiting.
  • If they have an injury or have hit their head from falling over.
  • If you think their drink has been ‘spiked’—this means they could be incoherent (not making sense), unable to stand up, or falling in and out of consciousness.
  • If they are not breathing regularly or have stopped breathing.

If you can, tell the ambulance paramedics exactly what you or the other person have drunk or taken and how much they have had.

The paramedics are there to help. The right information is important and could save someone’s life.

If you or someone else is unsafe, seriously unwell or hurt in any way call triple zero (000) immediately.

Tips for safer drinking

Know your facts

Know what the impacts are on your mind and body. Know how much alcohol there is in a standard drink and what a standard drink looks like (it’s probably not what you expect). Most drinks that you buy from a bar or bottle shop have more than one standard drink of alcohol in them. A glass of wine, for example, has around 1.5 standard drinks.

Keep track

It’s very easy to drink more than you realise. Set yourself a drink limit and stick to it. Drink plenty of water and make sure you eat a meal.

Plan with your mates before you drink

Talk to your friends about what you would do if something goes wrong. Make a plan for what to do if someone gets lost, drinks too much or looks like they have had their drink spiked. Chat about your options and make that decision together before you start drinking.

Mates look after mates

Always look after your mates when you’re drinking. Stick with friends who you trust. If a situation feels wrong, the best option is to leave and go somewhere that you do feel safe.

Look out for drink spiking

Drink spiking happens when someone puts something (extra alcohol or a drug) in a person’s drink without their knowledge or consent. This causes the person to become sleepy, sick, or appear very drunk – even when they haven’t had much to drink. A person who has had their drink spiked is vulnerable. If you think you or your friend have had your drink spiked you need to go to a safe place and ask a friend to stay with you. If you are out, tell security or any staff what has happened. If someone passes out from drink spiking call Triple Zero (000).

Know when to help

If you feel unwell, unsafe, or like you need support always ask for help from someone you trust. If someone has had an injury, have hit their head, or can’t be woken up call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Sobering Up

Getting the alcohol out of your body or ‘sobering up’ takes time, nothing can speed up this process. Injuries and other health concerns can happen when people attempt to sober themselves or someone else up.

Ten per cent of the alcohol in your body leaves in your breath, sweat and urine, but most is broken down by the liver. The liver can only get rid of about one standard drink per hour.

Nothing can speed this up—not even black coffee, cold showers, exercise or vomiting. For more information on myths about alcohol see 7 Myths About Alcohol. Depending on how much you drink, you can still be over the legal limit to drive a car hours after your last drink.

A general guide for remaining under the legal limit to drive is one standard drink per hour for women, or two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink every hour after that for men. This is a guide only!

Alcohol behaves differently in everybody even though you may be under the legal limit it still doesn’t mean you are sober enough to drive. Alcohol can remain in your bloodstream much longer than you realise, including the whole next day after a big session. Generally you should wait 12 hours after your last drink before you can safely drive.

Dance Wize NSW have more information on safe drinking practices.

Frequently asked questions

Got more questions? We’ve got you covered. Here are some commonly asked queries about this topic to help you understand it better. Remember, no question is too small or too big – we’re here to help!

What are the impacts of alcohol on the body and mind?
Alcohol can affect your body and mind in various ways, depending on your age, weight, gender, and current emotional state. It’s essential to learn about these impacts to make informed decisions regarding drinking​.
A standard drink’s size depends on the alcohol type, its strength, and the glass size. You can use the standard drinks calculator on the Your Room website to understand better what a standard drink looks like.
To minimize risks, set a drink limit, drink plenty of water, eat a meal, and plan with your friends on what to do if something goes wrong. Always stick with friends you trust and know when to ask for help.
Signs include inability to wake someone up, excessive vomiting, injuries from falling, suspicion of drink spiking, and irregular or ceased breathing. Call triple zero (000) immediately if you notice any of these signs.
Sobering up takes time as your liver can only process about one standard drink per hour. Nothing can speed up this process, not even coffee, cold showers, or vomiting. It’s advisable to wait at least 12 hours after your last drink before driving.
Drink spiking may cause you to feel sleepy, sick, or appear very drunk even if you haven’t had much to drink. If you suspect drink spiking, go to a safe place, stay with a friend, and call Triple Zero (000) if someone passes out from drink spiking.
Set a drink limit, use tools like the Drinks Meter app for personal feedback, and use the Your Room’s standard drinks calculator to understand how much alcohol you are consuming.
You can speak to a doctor, youth worker, or health service. Websites like Your Room and Reach Out also provide resources and quizzes to help you assess your drinking habits and get help.
Youth Law Australia and State Library NSW have more information on the laws regarding young people and alcohol.
Websites like Your Room, Reach Out, WellMob, and Dance Wize NSW offer various resources, interactive tools, and information to help you learn more about alcohol, its impacts, and how to stay safe.

Need emergency assistance?

As the peak body for young people and youth services in NSW, Youth Action does not provide direct referrals to support services. If you are in distress or require urgent assistance, the following support lines are available.

If there’s immediate risk of harm to yourself or other, please call:

Lifeline: 13 11 14 (Crisis & Suicide prevention support 24/7)

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 (Mental health support 24/7) 

Link2Home: 1800 152 152 (For those experiencing homelessness 24/7)

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 (24/7)

ParentLine: 1300 1300 52 (9am to 9pm weekdays, 4pm to 9pm weekends)