The Truth About Alcohol and Abuse

The Truth About Alcohol and AbuseIt is very Australian to consume large amounts of alcohol, in fact it is a behaviour that envelopes much of our lives. President of the Australian Medical Association Brian Owler says this needs to change. In a speech given to the AMA National Alcohol Summit, he stated some of the raw and honest facts about Australians and alcohol abuse.

When the onus is largely on our personal use of alcohol and taking responsibility for our actions, Owler reminds us that the misuse of alcohol has wider repercussions than just the drunken behaviour of the individual. He shares, The devastating consequences of alcohol misuse extend from our cities into rural and remote areas and the number of alcohol-related assaults tops 70,000 a year.

With the overconsumption of alcohol can often come acts of cowardice and danger; many of us have heard about the fatal impact of the ‘king hit’ or the affect alcohol mixed with drugs can have on our bodies. But what about the ramification this behaviour has on the victims? There have been 24,000 cases of alcohol related domestic violence. And in addition to this, the misuse of alcohol can also contribute to child abuse.

In his speech, Owler highlights that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. And from his own experience he shares, As a paediatric neurosurgeon, I frequently see the results of abuse of a child's brain. The brain swells dramatically. And if we do save the child, the brain often melts away on follow-up scans, and the child is permanently disabled. It's not even a matter of drunken violence.

When we drink alcohol without limits and allow ourselves to become intoxicated, we don’t just put ourselves in danger, we put those around us in danger too. Someone like me has to tell the parents that their son is quadriplegic – all because of a drunken night out. Alcohol-related harm doesn't stop at the front door. It enters people's homes.” Owler says.

And it is not just families and loved ones who are impacted by this; it is the victims of sexual assault, rape and violence. It is our children who grow up in an environment where it is normal to drink alcohol heavily because it is typically Australian. There is a safe way to consume alcohol, and Owler’s speech reminds us how important it is we learn how to do this; not just for ourselves, but for others too.

Brian Owler’s speech to the AMA National Alcohol Summit was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. You can read it here.


Do you struggle to limit your alcohol consumption? Maybe you want to learn how to keep yourself and your friends safe while you drink, or need help becoming sober. If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

WatersedgeCounselling will be releasing our new “30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign soon to help you achieve a greater level of wellness in your life. Keep an eye on for details.


Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Have you ever paused to consider just how deeply your lifestyle and those around you have been affected by alcohol and other drugs?  In this infographic provided by the Australian Drug Foundation, we are shown the facts about our nation’s love affair with alcohol and other drugs. No matter what your age or socio economic factors, it is evident that these substances have negatively impacted our lives and will continue to do so unless we better educate ourselves and our families in these areas. This fascinating infographic shows us that we can no longer put our head in the sand- we must take responsibility for our own use of alcohol and other substances as the effects are more wide reaching than we ever imagined.

Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Do you struggle with alcohol and/or other drugs and are concerned about their long-term effects on your life and those around you? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

10 Tips To Slow Down Your Drinking and Enjoy The Seasonal Celebrations

With Christmas and New Year celebrations upon us it is a good time to give thought to your drinking behaviour at party celebrations. Alcohol is a feature of a good majority of social occasions; it causes people to become relaxed and lower their inhibitions so that you can ‘let your hair down’ as it were. At the end of a long year, we are generally feeling a little tired, tense, disgruntled and ready to have a good time.

After the first couple of drinks you feel happy, more relaxed and have less concentration and slower reflexes. However it is early in the evening and parties generally go well into the night. The alcohol is on tap and your friends encourage you to have another drink.

This is the critical moment. You see, a few more drinks and your inhibitions are lowered, confidence heightens, you are less co-ordinated, speech begins to slur and your moods are more intense. You will feel intensely happy or conversely sad or even mad. Your judgement becomes increasingly impaired as you continue to drink throughout the night. People are happy and having funbut there can come a point where someone, maybe you, behaves inappropriately and out of character. That’s the effect alcohol has on us.

Disagreements become fights, sexual harassment is all too common, while physical and sexual assault is also a common feature of alcohol-fuelled parties. At best you can lose your licence as consequence of failing to organise alternate transport. At worst, you can find yourself charged for an action that you can’t even remember happening. If you think it couldn’t happen to you, I urge you to think again.

So at this year’s Christmas party, try some of these strategies to slow down your drinking:

  • Start with a soft drink
  • Use standard drinks
  • Drink slower
  • Eat before and while you are drinking
  • Avoid salty snacks
  • Avoid shouts
  • Don’t let people top up your drink
  • Pace yourself
  • Try the low alcohol alternative
  • Be assertive and say ‘no’

This info graphic from called Blood Alcohol Content outlines the changes that occur in you when you drink over an extended period of time. You will find the information sobering!

If you want to talk to someone about your drinking behaviour and/or would like support to change your behaviour, you can contact Colleen for a free 10 minute consultation on 0434 337245 or go to the online diary at full slate to make an appointment with Colleen in the New Year.

5 Myths About Drug Abuse And Addiction

5 myths about drug abuse and addiction


If you have a drug and/or alcohol dependence issue and would like to access support to address your issues and reduce your substance use then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or go to the orange tab to Colleen's online diary to make an appointment.

13 Tips To Drink Less And Feel Great

It__s_the_Aussie_way____by_captivatedimagesFor a lot of people, the Christmas/New Year period is a time of over-indulgence. Parties, end-of-year-functions, New Years Celebrations, summer BBQ's in the backyard or down by the beach, and not to forget the traditional Australia Day celebrations are all part of the Australian way of life and we love it! Have you noticed though that when you have been in the habit of over-indulging for a couple of months, it is difficult to restrain oneself from continuing to consume food and alcohol in this fashion in spite of the growing waistline, dull skin tone and general fatigue that continued overindulgence has on your body? If you are nodding your head as you read this, why not consider February the month that you aim to reduce your alcohol consumption? The benefits will include weight loss,  healthier, clearer skin and an increase in energy.

Here are 13 tips that  will support your commitment to drink less and feel great:

1. In social settings, start with a soft drink: a non-alcoholic soft drink will quench your thirst before you start drinking alcohol.

2. Use standard drinks: an Australian standard drink contains 10 gms of alcohol. Because glass sizes very, check the label of a drink to know how many gms are in a specific alcoholic drink.

3. Drink slowly: sip your drink and put it down between each sip.

4. Eat before or while you are drinking: eating slows down your drinking pace and fills you up. Alcohol is absorbed much slower on a full stomach.

5. Avoid salty snacks that make you thirsty.

6. Avoid shouts: drink at your own pace, not what is dictated by someone else. If you do get stuck in a shout, buy a non-alcoholic drink.

7. One drink at a time: when people top up your drink it is easy to lose track of how much alcohol you have had.

8. Pace yourself: have a non-alcoholic drink every second drink.

9. Stay busy: play pool or dance but don't just sit an drink.

10. Try a low-alcohol alternative: light beer, low alcohol or non- alcoholic wines are available. Most places that have cocktails have non- alcoholic versions.

11. Have alcohol-free days: have at least 2 days a week when you don't drink at all.

12. Keep a diary: write down how much you drink each day so that you are more aware of how much you consume.

13. Be assertive: don't be pressured into drinking. Learn that it is okay to say ‘no thanks'.
Decide how many drinks a day you would like to reduce your alcohol consumption to (as compared to how much alcohol you presently consume) so that in  the social setting, you can be more aware of how much alcohol you choose to drink. Don't be to hard on yourself if you lapse on an occasion. Remember that it is a process and even if you only reduce by one or two drinks over the month of February, your health and wellbeing will only benefit.
You might like to ask a friend to support you throughout the month so that you have some sort of accountability or journal your progress each day. You might like to email your progress to me at  I would be delighted to be your support person.

If you want help to reduce your alcohol consumption, grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.