Drinking culture and young people

The other day we ran a zoom workshop for young people and one of the topics discussed was on alcohol consumption and the role it played with people with bipolar. It was interesting discussing what people thought about alcohol in the sense that what we discovered is that there is a lot of peer pressure to join in with the drinking culture especially at university but also when out with friends. When you don’t drink for example it makes you stand out and when you’re out it’s hard to say no and stand your ground. An interesting perspective on drinking came in the form of the role religion played and how for some people it helps centre them as the bible states: “do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves in meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes theme in rags” proverbs 23:20 and then again in Ephesians 5:18 it goes on to say  “do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery”. Both these statements in the bible are quite accurate on what happens when you consume too much alcohol and you lose control and can act foolish. I have often found that alcohol fueled fun can be quite dangerous as it can be all too easy once you have one alcohol beverage to continue on the roller coaster ride of consuming far too much alcohol. I have often found that this type of behaviour is a slippery slope downwards in ending the night a little worse for wear and then please lets not get started on how you feel the next morning if you have been foolish enough to mix your alcohol...something my younger self used to do...oh the ignorance of not knowing not to mix the alcohol grains.

Effect of alcohol on medication

More importantly though some types of medication can stop working with excessive amounts of alcohol so it is important to know if it is safe to consume alcohol on the medication you take. There is a link below to a website which has details on what medication is safe to consume alcohol and which should be avoided. The themes that came out of the discussion was that as you get older you end up curbing the amount of alcohol you drink as you find a happy medium of the right amount of alcohol to consume and when to limit your intake. In addition, you start to rely on your true friends to have an awareness and understanding on your reasons and your resolve not to consume too much alcohol. A good thing that we took away from the workshop was ideas of doing different activities that didn’t centre around alcohol such as going to the cinema, going to a coffee shop or going to a restaurant.

To check whether you can drink on medication then check out the NICE (National Institute for Care and Health Excellence) website

Finally, at Bipolar UK we offer a number of support services