Experts urge summer safety call

Posted on: Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Turning Point is urging summer holidaymakers to avoid ending up in a hospital emergency department.

Turning Point Director Prof Dan Lubman said it was important people avoided excessive consumption of alcohol, particularly as temperatures begin to rise.

“Alcohol is actually the last thing you should be drinking on a hot day, particularly when you consider its dehydrating effects.” Prof Lubman said.

“While people may look to beer, wine or spirits to quench their thirst, it is important people are aware that alcoholic drinks are actually diuretics, and can disrupt you kidney’s ability to maintain hydration.”

He advised people to keep up their intake of water, to ensure they were well hydrated on warm summer days.

Prof Lubman said excessive alcohol consumption made the decision making part of our brain less effective, leading to an increase in risk-taking behaviour.

“Road accidents, injuries or assaults caused by intoxication can be avoided.  The last place you want to end up this summer is a hospital emergency department.”

Previous Turning Point research has indicated significant increases in alcohol-related incidents in the lead-up to most public holidays including New Year's Day, with the last working day before Christmas also a concern. 

Turning Point Clinical Director Dr Matthew Frei said it was important people know their limits, with body shape, gender and whether you have eaten affecting how much you can drink.

“In general, consuming more than four standard drinks in a session increases the risk of injury, accidents and social embarrassment. Every subsequent drink increasing the risk further.”

Dr Frei added that combining alcohol with other drugs can further increase intoxication and associated risks.

“The Christmas and New Year period is a great time to catch up with family and friends. However, it is important people consume alcohol responsibly and look after their mates.”

For 24/7 support with alcohol and other drug issues, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236 or visit www.counsellingonline.org.au