Talking to your children about alcohol is a good way to prevent alcohol misuse. Alcohol is part of British culture and one day your child will have to make a decision whether or not they want to drink. The more information they have before they make that decision the better placed they will be to take a responsible attitude towards drinking.
When talking to your child, be sure that you make it into a conversation where you will listen and consider their thoughts and feelings on the consumption of alcohol, as it is important to value their opinions.
When talking to your child about alcohol you should always keep it factual and as current as possible by not only referring to alcohol related damage which may happen when they are 40 – although it is important to refer to long term damage too. To a 16-year-old the age of 40 seems like a time that will never come. They may also think that drinking alcohol at a young age won’t have any effect on them and that it is something they can worry about later on. Instead raise the issues of alcohol that will concern them now, such as how they look, feel and appear in front of their peers. These could include the effects of binge drinking, the strengths of different drinks and safety issues.
Many children grow up seeing their parents drinking alcohol and sometimes witnessing excessive use and drunkenness. The example that we give our children is a very powerful one – if children grow up seeing responsible use that can have a lasting effect. In our families and in society we need to think about the example that we give to young people.
When taking part in prolonged drinking alcohol has been known to reduce sexual sensitivity in both men and women. Men may find it difficult to get and maintain an erection whilst women may experience reduced lubrication and find it harder to orgasm or have orgasms that are less intense. Over time alcohol can actually lower your desire for sex which can present problems if you are in a long-term relationship.
‘Brewer’s droop’ which is the inability to get an erection after a night of drinking is something that many people don’t take too seriously and may even laugh at those who have experienced it. However, heavy drinking on a regular basis can turn ‘brewer’s droop’ into impotence.
If you’re a woman and planning on having children in the future you should be sure not to regularly drink over the guidelines of 2-3 units of alcohol a day as studies show that women who do take longer to get pregnant and may even suffer from menstrual and fertility problems.
As a central nervous system depressant alcohol lowers inhibitions. When this happens we are less likely to think about the things we say to others.
A quiet night in with a few drinks with your partner on a Saturday night can make for a relaxing evening. However it can become very different if you or your partner has one too many and you end up bickering into the early hours of the morning. When alcohol is involved our self control is reduced and we can act and behave in ways we later regret.
As alcohol lowers our inhibitions we can say or do things without caring or considering what the consequences may be. Alcohol does create a feel-good state when taken in moderation but if you consume too much this feel-good state can quickly turn into sadness or aggression.
If caught up in an argument with somebody who is under the influence of alcohol it might be best to give in or to walk away even if you believe that you are in the right. When somebody is drunk and argumentative it is unlikely that they will change their mind and if you continue to disagree with them it will only frustrate or even anger them further.
If you and your partner are having problems it is best talk about it when you are both sober and can be rational about any disagreement; this can help you make sure that things don’t get out of hand.