Alcohol is the most widely used party drug. In small doses it can act as stimulant, but in larger doses it acts as a depressant. Alcohol Lowers inhibitions and can make you feel affectionate, sexually confident, sexually assertive, or experimental.
Not everyone manages the same amount of alcohol in the same way, and effects vary depending on how much is taken. Common effects can include feeling relaxed, loss of inhibitions, reduced co-ordination and concentration, slurred speech, intense moods and impaired decision making.
With pubs and clubs as popular social and meeting places, drinking is common in the LGBT community. Binge drinking is common among gay, bisexual and MSM and can cause major problems.
Binge drinking in Ireland is considered to be six standard alcoholic drinks or more in one sitting. In the recent MISI (men who have sex with men internet survey) data showed that 58% of respondents reported that they binge drink on a typical drinking occasion.
Many feel that they can be themselves when they drink, while others find alcohol a way to block out disturbing memories or thoughts. Or perhaps it’s less complicated than that and simply about keeping up with our friends, or having fun and not being aware of how much you are consuming. But before long, drinking can affect our work, sleep, relationships and responsibilities.
Knowing how to have fun safely can be a learned skill. Being embarrassed about your behaviour or not being able to remember the night before, getting into arguments, or having risky sexual encounters, can all be avoided if you re-learn some drinking behaviour.
Often counselling can help to address underlying issues and can equip us better to handle certain issues without needing a drink to do so. Check out our support & services section for more information including counselling and Alcoholics Anonymous groups.
If you wake up the next day and can’t remember the night before, check out our advice here.
If you are worried about your relationship with alcohol, it is important to reach out. There are a number of non-judgemental friendly services who can help.
The Switchboard Ireland
Outhouse, 105 Capel St, Dublin 1.
The Switchboard Ireland is Ireland’s longest running support service for the LGBT+ community. LGBT+ volunteers are available 7 days a week on phone, email and online chat to offer confidential listening, support and information. Thursdays: Substance Abuse, Chems, Narcotics, Alcohol 6:30pm – 9pm. Phone 01 872 1055
Contact: WhatsApp @ 089 26 74 777
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for support & signpost by email
email@example.com for other questions
The MPOWER team of peer sexual health outreach workers offer information, support and resources relating to HIV, STIs and other sexual health & wellbeing needs. The team is available to speak to you by phone, email, WhatsApp, and Zoom.
Phone 01-8733799 and ask for the MPOWER Team (Mon-Fri 10am – 5pm)
Whatsapp on 086 065 7212 (Davy), 0866002996 (Mark), 0892291869 (Diego)
Alcohol information and national directory of support services, available at www.drugs.ie
Visit the HSE’s Alcohol Information Resource: askaboutalcohol.ie
Call the HSE Drugs and Alcohol Helpline: Freefone 1800 459459 for confidential information and support