News & Events

Helping A Drunk Friend This Australia Day

in News
25 Jan 2018
Australia Day

Every year many Australians celebrate Australia Day by spending the day with friends and family, having a BBQ, and drinking some alcoholic beverages. However are we using this day as an excuse to drink in excess? The statistics certainly think so, here are some alarming facts about our propensity to drink on Australia day:

  • –> Ambulance officials have stated that ambulance calls for people aged under 25, who are drunk, double on Australia Day every year
  • –> Australia Day is the number one holiday for heavy drinking, assaults and car accidents among people under the age of 25. [*]
  • –> 15% of patients across 100 emergency departments on Australia Day were there because of alcohol. [+]

Given these statistics, it becomes more important than ever to know which signs to look out for and which actions to take if you can see one of your friends is drinking excessively.

How can I tell if my friend needs help?

Your friend may need help if they:

  • –> Can’t talk properly and have glazed eyes.
  • –> Are acting strangely or uncharacteristically.
  • –> Are vomiting.
  • –> Are falling over, running into things, or can’t walk straight.
  • –> Have passed out.

I have identified some of the above symptoms, what should I do?

  • –> Stay with them, if you are unable to do so, make sure someone else stays with them. This is to ensure their safety which may include threat of violence or assault (both sexual and physical).
  • –> Get them something to eat or drink (non alcoholic). Taking them to get something to eat can be a good way to slow down their drinking without it seeming like you’re ordering them what to do.
  • –> If they want to lie down, make sure they lie on their side. This is important because if someone lies on their back they can choke on their own vomit.
  • –> Make sure your friend can get home safely.
  • –> If they lose consciousness call an ambulance on 000.

Sometimes the only consequence of excessive drinking is a painful hangover in the morning. However, other times it can lead to alcohol poisoning. The following are signs of alcohol poisoning:

  • –> Mental Confusion, passing out or coma.
  • –> Vomiting.
  • –> Seizures/shaking.
  • –> Slow irregular breathing.
  • –> Low body temperature, paleness and blue skin.

If your friend experiences any of the above symptoms call 000. [“]

[*] 24th January 2014: Victorian Police Data

[+] 26th January 2016: Study of 100 emergency departments conducted by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine.

[“] 2018: All information after the title: “How can I tell if my friend needs help?” was obtained from Reachout