Alcohol is seen as one of the features of student life, with many students drinking regularly. However, it is important to know your limits when drinking so you don’t find yourself in a difficult situation. Loss of co-ordination or self-control could lead to a nasty injury or doing something which you will regret in the morning. Many people regret having sex when drunk and are also less likely to use a condom.
Guidelines for men and women differ. Men should be drinking a maximum of 3-4 units a night and women 2-3 units. A unit calculator can help you work this out.
Not everyone reacts in the same way. Many factors apart from gender affect a person's reaction to alcohol, including body weight and metabolism.
Regularly drinking above these limits or occasionally drinking an excessive amount means you could be damaging your health in both the long and short term. Alcohol poisoning may leave you in hospital for a night; heavy drinkers are at risk of liver disease. Being hung-over in classes the next day is no fun and will almost certainly impair your academic performance.
Tips when drinking:
- You don’t have to drink for a fun night. There are plenty of non-drinking events you could attend, or just order a soft drink instead.
- Eat first to line your stomach. This delays absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, reducing the speed at which you get drunk.
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
- Watch out for drink spiking. Keep your drink in sight at all times.
- As part of a "Behind the Headlines" report by the NHS, these images show the effects of different alcohol concentrations in the bloodstream.