Battling the booze: Staying safe this festive season

Christmas, a time to eat, drink and be merry but for many young people in the North East, the holidays will be spent consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol.

The festive season is often the busiest time for pubs and clubs around the country with Christmas parties, fancy cocktails and excessive drinking being a usual part of many people celebrations.

Kirsty Paterson, Vice President of Wellbeing and Engagement at Sunderland University, said:  “I feel like drinking amongst students increases over the festive period due to boredom, with such long holidays and no classes to attend it is hard for students not to be dragged into the delves of drinking.”

The new found freedom students have over the holiday season can often lead them to go awry and indulge in bad habits including excessive drinking.

Safety is another aspect students tend to forget when they are planning a big night out. Simple tasks such as booking taxis home and making sure everyone stays together in a group are often forgotten once drinking has commenced.

Useful ideas including having a reliable taxi service saved in your phone and making sure no one is left alone will not only increase your safety but also help you and your friends have a much more enjoyable night.

Amy Watkins, Senior Communications Officer for the North East Ambulance Service, said:  “Please look after yourself and your friends and try and drink in moderation, nobody wants to spend the end of their evening in an ambulance.”

The ambulance service expect ambulance call outs to young people to increase drastically over the seasonal period.

Although Christmas is a time of celebration it’s important to remember not to get too carried away and put yourself in dangerous situations. However, it is important to remember that binge drinking is incredibly unhealthy and dangerous towards your health, even if you’re only drinking excessive amounts one or two nights a week.

“The NHS calculated that More than 10 million people in England drink above low risk levels. There were about 23,000 alcohol-related deaths, including more than 17,000 from liver disease, in England as a result of a medical condition caused by alcohol last year.”

Students can find out information about the dangers of binge drinking from their student union.

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