What are those Christmas & New Year’s drinks are really doing to us?

It’s that time of year again, when alcohol tends to flow like water at Christmas and New Year’s parties. It’s too easy to make some bad choices when there’s free/cheap booze on offer.

While it’s fine to let your hair down and enjoy a drink at this time of year, just remember that alcohol is a toxin that is detoxified by the liver. If you drink more than your liver can deal with, you start to suffer the toxic effects. Way too much alcohol in one evening can cause alcohol poisoning which will land you in the intensive care unit (if you’re lucky enough to make it to hospital).

Every day people make bad decisions when they’ve had too much to drink – they drive their car, get into fights, have unprotected sex with strangers, the list goes on.

The consequences can be pretty far-reaching – spending too much money, embarrassing yourself in front of friends/colleagues, losing your licence, having an accident, causing serious harm to others and yourself, catching an STI, putting yourself at risk of HIV. Then there’s waking up next to the person who last night looked like a porn star but this morning looks a little more like the guy from the burger shop (thanks to the beer goggles you were wearing last night). Oh and let’s not forget the terrible hangover and the awkward conversation you have with your boss about why you weren’t at work on Monday.

So while having one more drink may seem like a great idea, it almost never is.

These holidays, have fun, but take care of yourself. Enjoy the festive cheer without wiping yourself out. And have a happy new year!

Dr Fiona Bisshop specialises in LGBTI health and writes courtesy of Holdsworth House Medical Centre, Fortitude Valley.

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