What is Binge Drinking?

Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia and drinking has a high level of social acceptance in our culture, with people drinking after work and at social events on weekends. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on binge drinking, and the potentially harmful effects it can have.

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking has a number of different definitions, but recommendations from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), suggest that drinking more than four standard drinks on one occasion can lead to harmful effects. Drinkwise Australia defines binge drinking as drinking more than four standard drinks at one sitting, or drinking continuously for an extended period of time without a break in between. Drinking to deliberately get drunk is also considered to fall into the category of binge drinking.

What are the consequences of binge drinking?

Binge drinking can be dangerous in both the short-term and the long-term. Drinking excessively in one sitting can make you more susceptible to accidents and injury. Drinking alcohol to excess has also been shown to increase the likelihood of being involved in a violent incident, both as the perpetrator and the victim. Men have been shown to exhibit more aggressive traits after drinking than women.

The short-term physical effects of binge drinking include hangover, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fatigue. Being hung over can make it difficult to meet commitments, and your work or study can suffer as a result. Binge drinking can lead to financial problems, and increased violence and aggression.

There are longer term health risks that are also associated with binge drinking. These include an increased risk of death from alcohol-related diseases, such as alcohol poisoning, liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and certain types of cancer. The risk of hospitalisation due to injury also increases with regular binge drinking.

Binge drinking and drink driving

Binge drinking can also make it more likely you will do something risky like get in a car with someone who is over the limit, or try to drive while over the limit yourself. Driving the morning after a night of binge drinking can also lead to drink driving charges if police stop you. Drink driving penalties include fines and hefty disqualification periods, depending on the severity of the offence. If you have been charged with drink driving, it’s a good idea to find an experienced drink driving lawyer to offer advice, and represent you in court.

How can I stop binge drinking?

If you are concerned about your level of binge drinking, or that of a friend or family member, there are a few things you can do to try to get things to a more manageable and healthy level. If you have difficulty stopping or reducing your alcohol intake, you might need to speak with a professional to get help.

If you want to reduce your level of binge drinking, here are a few techniques you can try:

  • Slow down your drinking and try alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Avoid situations where you are more likely to binge drink, such as nights out where the focus is on getting drunk.
  • Don’t get involved in buying rounds, as this can mean that you feel obliged to drink a lot over the course of an evening.
  • If you are binge drinking to deal with anxiety, depression or stress look for an alternative way to sort out your underlying issues, rather than drowning them in alcohol.

Binge drinking might seem harmless on the surface, but it can have devastating effects on your health and lifestyle. Remember that you may still be over the legal limit for driving well into the day after a binge drinking session, and don’t take any unnecessary risks. If you do get charged with drink driving after binge drinking, speak to a drink driving lawyer as soon as possible to help reduce the severity of the outcome.

Tired of Cleaning? How about these Mess-free Kids Activities

Kids love nothing better than making a mess. It’s part of exploring the amazing world around them. Messy painting, sand pits, crafts, crayons and play dough are all great ways to help children explore their creativity. Now and again you might be yearning for something where you don’t need to clean up afterwards, however, which is why these classic activities should never be underestimated. Not only are reading, music and dancing a vital part of children’s education, they are great way to keep children amused, with little or nothing to clean-up afterwards!

Story time

Reading is an important part of every child’s development. It can take a while for children to learn to focus on a book, but it’s essential to regularly share stories and images with them, even if they don’t always remain riveted (that generally comes later!) Scheduling a daily book time or story time is a simple and effective way to open children up to the wonderful world of books, and all it takes is a great book! The key is to tailoring books to a child’s age. While babies love bright colours, textures, sounds and simple pictures, older toddlers are starting to become fascinated by stories and descriptions. Rhyming and repetition are techniques that often help make a book more memorable, and therefore easer for a child to respond to.

A dance a day

Regular physical activity is recommended for children from an early age. The Australian Government’s guidelines state that toddlers and young children should be physically active for at least three hours during the day. It obviously can be spread out, which is why it’s great to include a mix of activities such as playground time, bike riding and dancing. Children respond incredibly well to music and generally love dancing. For a regular dancing time, you need only a space for children to stand and spread out, and some catchy age-appropriate music. The popularity of The Wiggles is due in no small part to their ability to create instantly memorable songs and dance routines that even the youngest of children can enjoy – not as easy as it seems!

Music to play by

And for every time they get up and dance, there’s bound to be plenty of times when they love nothing better than making the music themselves. Most children learn best by starting with simple instruments, such as maracas, tambourines and drums. Colourful keyboards and toy guitars are wonderful options for slightly older children. Of course, a great activity is for children to make their own instruments that they then can play. They might decorate ice-cream containers for drums, create chimes from hanging pots and pans, strum a ‘guitar’ made from elastic bands wrapped around a shoebox lid, or create a tambourine from a paper plate and smooth-edged bottle tops.

And for messy times

Encouraging expression and creativity means that yes, there will be plenty of times when children make a mess. Childcare centres in particular need to take precautions to ensure the environment is clean and hygienic at all times. The Federal Government’s Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services report includes specific guidelines, and it is worth hiring a cleaning service that specialises in pre-schools, childcare centres, and kindergartens. That way, children can make as much mess as they like, and stay safe. And, you don’t have to deal with the mess yourself!

Good cleaning services for childcare centres will tailor a schedule to suit your business, and will offer everything from general cleaning and disinfecting, and pressure washing of chairs and playground equipment, to buffing floors. Look for a service that also offers non-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning products.

How to Encourage Someone to Seek Help for Drug Addiction

Do you have a friend or family member who has a drug problem? Drug addiction affects not just the addicted person, but it can often have a negative impact on the lives of others around them. It can be extremely difficult to watch someone you care about deteriorate physically and emotionally. If their addiction has caused them to commit drug offences, they may also have legal problems to deal with, too.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that can indicate that someone you know is using or dependent on prohibited drugs. If you believe a loved one has a drug problem, it can be hard to know what to do, and how to handle the situation. You might feel helpless and concerned about saying the wrong thing, but it is important to speak to them about your concerns, and encourage them to seek help. Having support from those around them can make a big difference to a drug addict’s chance of recovering. It is important that you don’t blame yourself or feel guilty for your friend or family member’s addiction, and remember that although you can offer support and encouragement, you can’t force someone to get help.

How to talk to someone about their drug problem

You need to be cautious when speaking to someone about their drug problem as putting them on the defensive can mean alienating them and having them withdraw further from you. Here are a few suggestions to help you approach the subject in the most positive way possible:

  • Choose a time when you are both calm and the person you are talking to isn’t intoxicated.
  • Avoid lecturing the other person. Instead, present your concerns in a non-judgemental and supportive way.
  • Prepare examples of the other person’s behaviour to demonstrate why you are concerned, as they may try to deny there is a problem.
  • Remember that you can’t force someone to seek help if they are in denial, or if they aren’t ready to address their problem.

Many addicts react with anger and denial when confronted with evidence of their problem, and it is important that you are prepared for this and don’t blame yourself if your efforts to support the other person are rejected.

Drug use and legal issues

If you suspect someone you know may have a drug problem, it is important that you don’t ignore the situation. The longer someone is dependent on drugs, the harder it can be to treat their addiction. Long-term drug use often leads to criminal activity, which can have serious consequences, and impact on their life in a number of ways.

Drug offences come with hefty penalties in many cases, depending on the type and seriousness of the offence.

Penalties can range from intensive correction orders, to prison. A criminal conviction and serving time in jail can impair the ability of your loved one to find employment in the future, or to travel to countries that require a clean criminal record in order to issue an entry visa.

What are the treatment options?

There is a wide range of different drug treatment options available, including counselling, rehabilitation programs, detoxification programs and natural therapies. Not all treatments will suit every person, so it is important that your loved one finds the right treatment for them.

Although speaking to someone about their drug problems can be a daunting prospect, if you are able to encourage them to seek help, you will be able to have a hugely positive impact on their health and future.

The Benefits of Boxing Training

Boxing used to be the sole domain of rugged and sometimes less than salubrious types. Things have certainly changed. Developed as a fitness activity using boxing techniques (but without the physical contact), boxing training is a very popular activity that attracts both men and women, and those from all levels of fitness and skill. There are plenty of reasons why boxing fitness has been growing in popularity over the last decade. The following are just a few.

No expertise required

Boxing training is about technique first and foremost, with brute strength not a prerequisite. That’s great news for those of us who are less than burly, and it’s also why it’s been attracting huge hordes of female followers in recent years (not to say there aren’t plenty of women who are very strong!). What’s more, it can be tailored to suit all skill levels, so as you develop more skills, your training can be adapted to remain fun and challenging. Classes can cater to everyone from absolute novices, to Olympic champions.

It’s a great workout

Boxing fitness is arguably one of the best workouts around. It burns calories, develops and tones muscles, increases agility, and builds stamina. It’s the ideal combination of cardiovascular and muscle training. In short, it’s a great workout that can help you increase overall fitness, lose weight and build strength, which is important for everyone. If you’re looking for a solid routine that will see significant results, it’s a great choice.

Safety first

Some people may be put off with the idea that boxing training can lead to injury. The good news is that it’s about building techniques and improving fitness, without any body-to-body contact. In general, you will be partnered with a fellow class member. One of you will ‘spar’ or push a combination of tailored punches at the other, which are blocked by padded gloves or mats. It’s been designed to ensure it’s very safe, and there’s generally no more chance of injury with boxing fitness than there is with any other type of fitness training.

A confidence booster

While this type of training is not specifically a self-defence class, it will teach you how to throw a punch. While we’re not advocating trying boxing of any sort outside of the fitness class anytime soon, it’s perhaps one reason why many people find boxing training is a good confidence booster too.

It’s fun

Boxing fitness is not, as some may perceive, a solely serious workout. It’s also a lot of fun. Enjoying your workout is one of the best ways to achieve success. It’s incredibly difficult to maintain focus and motivation if you’re not doing something you love. That’s why the best fitness activities for any individual are those that you enjoy.

It’s officially good for you

The Australian government’s guidelines for health and fitness recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity daily, and some regular vigorous activity for extra health and fitness. It’s often this extra high-intensity activity that people find hard to fit into their hectic schedules. Boxing training is a great option if you’re looking for an activity that will have results, and is enjoyable. It’s also a fantastic way to relieve stress after a busy or hectic day at work!

Signs your Teenager Might be Getting Involved with Drugs

Any parent of teenagers or young adults worries about drugs at one time or another. With so much media coverage of young people and the issue of drug use, it can be difficult to know what is hype and what is a serious problem. Teenagers are notoriously secretive and uncommunicative, and it can be hard for parents to decipher whether their child is engaging in illegal or dangerous behaviour, or just being a normal moody adolescent. Here are some signs that your teenager might be involved with drugs, and what you can do to help them.

  1. Mood swings and irrational behaviour. Although mood swings are common in teenagers, if you notice a sudden increase in moody behaviour it might be due to something more than just raging hormones.
  2. Changes in appearance. If your child suddenly seems to have less interest in their appearance, and have let their personal hygiene standards slip, this can be a sign they are taking drugs. There are certain physical characteristics that sometimes go with drug and alcohol consumption, including dramatic weight loss or gain, and sores or spots on the skin, particularly around the mouth.
  3. Declining performance at school or work. If your child’s grades have suddenly dropped, or they are experiencing behavioural issues at school, it can be a sign of a wider problem. This can go along with loss of interest in extra-curricular activities and friends.
  4. Changes in personal habits. This can include sudden secretive behaviour, staying out late when they didn’t before, reckless driving and unexplained bumps and bruises. Developing a sudden taste for breath mints might mean they are trying to cover up the smell of smoke or alcohol on their breath, and the use of incense or air fresheners in their bedroom can mean they are trying to hide other smells.
  5. Sudden changes in friends. If your teenager has suddenly developed an entirely new circle of friends and lost interest in the people they used to spend time with, it is possible that drugs are involved.

These signs don’t necessarily mean that your child is using drugs, so it is important not to panic if you have noticed one of the above behaviours. There might be another reason, but it is worth opening up a discussion with your teenager to find out what is going on. Keeping an open line of communication, and letting your child know that they can talk to you, are some of the best ways to help prevent your child getting involved in problematic behaviours.

If you know or suspect that your child is involved with drugs, talking to them about the health and lifestyle risks of drug use might help.

A visit to your local GP can give you some ideas of local support groups or counselling programs in your area, which might be suitable for your teenager.

If your child has already been involved with the police, or they have been charged with a drug-related offence, you will need to obtain legal advice. Experienced drug lawyers might be able to help your teenager avoid a criminal conviction. A conviction and a criminal record can have long-term consequences for them in the future, including impacting on their employment prospects, and hindering their ability to obtain certain visas, and travel.

A Glimpse Into Mosman Fine Dental

Mosman Fine Dental are a team of highly experienced dentists based in Sydney’s northern suburb of Mosman. We spoke to the Mosman Fine Dental team about their practice and services and this is what they had to say!

When it comes to dental care, the staff at Mosman Fine Dental understands your concerns and fears. We want to welcome you with a warm smile and heart-warming gesture that lets you know everything is going to be fine. At Mosman Fine Dental, we offer a variety of different services and treatment options to meet all of your dental needs. Some of our specialties encompass cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, dental implants, sleep apnea, dental hypnosis, orthodontics, dental hygiene and sleep dentistry.

Our exceptional practice provides you with the warmth and relaxation you need when dealing with different dental needs. The friendly staff will help make sure any fears or concerns about your dental treatment are addressed properly. We want to ensure you are comfortable and happy with the service you receive in our practice.

At Mosman Fine Dental, we understand how important your teeth are to your overall health and self-confidence. Since your teeth and smile are extremely valuable to you, we will do everything we can to treat them as a precious commodity. To help all of our patients reach the best possible dental health, we will take the time to approach your issues with care and expertise. We want to make sure that the time you spend in our practice is a positive one.

All of our staff undergoes comprehensive training on a regular basis to ensure they are well trained and knowledgeable. Our team works to operate in a professional and proficient manner. Beyond simply educating the staff at Mosman Fine Dental, we make sure all of our techniques and skills are current. The materials and technology inside our practice is the best on the market today. It is our goal to ensure we always provide you with the best practises around.

Since everyone is unique, we understand that your needs are unique as well. Through a complete assessment, consultation and estimate of cost, we make sure you are well informed about everything going on with your dental treatment. If you are worried about the cost of treatment, we offer financing to help counteract the cost. Plenty of options are available to help you move ahead with your treatment plan and restore your smile to its original luster.

Many dental practices leave patients waiting for an extended period in the waiting room. When you come to Mosman Fine Dental, you will not have to worry about waiting for an extended length of time. Everyone has somewhere else to be, which is why we strive to get you in and out as quickly as possible. We also work to provide you with a longer appointment time to help reduce the amount of visits you will make into our practice.

Not only are we easily accessible, but we have plenty of parking available for our patients. You will not have to spend a long time finding somewhere to park and getting into and out of our facilities. If you are a new patient searching for a dental practice, feel free to spend time asking any questions you may have with our front desk staff. They will help address your concerns in a timely fashion. It is important that you understand whether you are getting the best dental practice around for your specific dental issues.

For further information on Mosman Fine Dental, please visit their website: http://www.mosmanfinedental.com.au/.

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