Singapore

Young and binge-drinking in S'pore

They're young, flush with money and happy to drink, maybe too happy.

While many who seek help for alcohol abuse are 45 years and above, psychiatrists and counsellors are concerned about the growing number of binge drinkers in their teens and 20s, The Straits Times reported.

Used cans collected by a karung guni man near Read Bridge overlooking Clarke Quay. The bridge used to be a popular spot for young drinkers to hang out. PHOTO: ST FILE

Binge-drinking happens when a man drinks 

     5 or more alcoholic drinks in one session.

 

For women, the number is

     4 or more alcoholic drinks in one session.

Private psychiatrist Munidasa Winslow, former chief of the Institute of Mental Health's addiction medicine department, said many start drinking in their 20s when they have their first disposable income.

And young binge-drinkers are not seeking help - perhaps because they think they can function properly or do not think they have a problem.

Psychiatrist Thomas Lee said: 

“Many of them have not hit rock bottom or felt the full impact of their drinking, so they don’t come forward.

“They can still function normally at work so they don’t think they have a problem.”

Here's the worry:

About 1 in 5 men and 1 in 10 women aged 18 to 29 binge-drink.

What's the limit? Guidelines from the Health Promotion Board say:

For women: One standard alcoholic drink a day.

One such drink contains 10g of alcohol = 1 can beer (330ml)

PHOTO: DREAMSTIME.COM

OR: Half a glass (175 ml) of wine

PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

OR: One nip (35 ml) of spirits

For men: Two standard alcoholic drinks a day =  20g alcohol 

How do you know when someone is drinking gets too much? According to Dr Winslow, the signs include:

*Drinking till he/ she blacks out *Not being able to remember what he/ she did while drunk *Hiding frequent drinking from friends and family

If you or a loved one need help, please call:

Alcoholics Anonymous Singapore: 9053-1764

National Addictions Management Services: 6732-6837

Source: The Straits Times

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