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lotl.com • Lesbians On The Loose Magazine
Health | Lifestyle
If you plan on letting your hair down this Mardi
Gras, don't forget to be safe... Switchboard
The smell of Mardi Gras is in the air, and many will be heading to
Sydney to celebrate the diversity and pride of our community. With
all the celebrations, it is inevitable that copious amounts of alcohol
will be consumed, and for some people this may be a problem.
Alcohol use in LGBT communities is higher than that of heterosexual
communities. A 2004 study of Australian women showed that 7% of same-sex
attracted female respondents aged 22-27 years engaged in risky alcohol use
compared to 3.9% of heterosexual female respondents in the same age bracket
But what is 'risky' use, compared to just having fun? When does drinking
become a problem?
Identifying that alcohol has become a problem can be challenging for both
individuals and their loved ones. As a general rule of thumb, it largely comes
down to the ability to control use.
Some signs that may indicate dependence are:
• Few or no alcohol-free days
• Unable to stop a er just one drink
• Anger or annoyance when someone suggests cutting down
• Feeling within yourself that you need to cut back
• Feeling guilty about the amount of alcohol you are consuming
If this sounds familiar to you, then it may be a sign that you need to seek
help. It is also important to remember that if you are drinking large quantities
of alcohol, it may be harmful for you to stop cold turkey. Your local doctor can
assist in developing a guide for you to safely cut down your use.
Partners, family members and friends o en go through a tough time when
the person they care for is going through this experience, and it is important
not to forget this. It can be di cult to know how to support your loved one
through this time, as well as looking a er yourself.
If you or a loved one is experiencing alcohol related problems, and feel that
you or they need to chat to someone, call one of our friendly Switchboard
counsellors. We are happy to listen and give support, as well as o er referrals
to LGBT friendly ser vices.
Gay and Lesbian Switchboard
Counselling: (03) 9663 2939 (Melbourne) or 1800 184 527 (Regional Victoria
Monday to Thursday 6pm to 10pm; Wednesdays 2pm to 10pm; Friday,
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 6pm to 9pm
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