Regrets from alcohol and drug use

Partying is all well and good until you end up on an oval at 2am and don’t know where your shoes are. Not only can we wake up with next-day regret from drinking/taking drugs, but it can also be risky. If you often have regrets after having consumed alcohol or other drugs, read on for some tips on what you can do.

You can help if:

  • You don’t like your behaviour when you’re under the influence
  • You want some tips to help you change your behaviour when you’re out of it
  • You have done something you regretted whilst under the influence in the past

Why is it important to control my behaviour when I'm under the influence?

People have been known to regret all sorts of different things while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Some of them aren’t the end of the world, but you also need to consider the more serious risks that concern:

Your physical safety –When you’re intoxicated, you’re not as aware of your surroundings as you are when you’re sober. You are less capable of recognising risky situations and removing yourself from them. It’s also harder to protect yourself against anyone who might want to take advantage of this.

Your sexual health and protection – Ever heard of beer goggles? They refer to the fact that if you are intoxicated you have decreased inhibitions and this means you might sleep with someone who you wouldn’t if you were sober. It might also mean that your intention to practice safe sex is compromised. Learn more about contraception and the important role it plays in contracting STIs and/or avoiding unplanned pregnancies. On another note, alcohol consumption can also lead to decreased sexual satisfaction and performance for both guys and girls. 

Your relationships – A common regret of alcohol and other drug use is relationship damage. Intoxicated behaviour often puts a really big strain on our relationships, whether with our friends, partners or family.

No regrets

Have you ever experienced that moment of dread when you wake up in the morning after a night of intoxication and regret your actions the night before? The good news: there are a bunch of simple things you can do to never experience regret again:

  • Limit your alcohol and drug intake. Avoid next-day regret by allowing yourself a maximum number of drinks and sticking to it. Everyone has their own limit and it’s up to you to listen to your body and figure out how much alcohol you can handle. If you’re planning on taking other drugs, keep in mind that the way your body reacts is often very unpredictable due to the often random nature of drugs and their contents. For this reason it can be difficult to manage your behaviour.

  • Ask a friend to look out for you. That way, if they see that you’re starting to behave in a way that you might later not be so proud of, they can let you know, encourage you to slow down and fetch you some food or a glass of water so that you can have a break from drinking. 

  • Avoid drinking games. Drinking large quantities of alcohol in a small amount of time is likely to make you very drunk, very quickly and it will be much harder to control your behaviour.

  • Avoid shouts or rounds. Everyone drinks at their own pace and you don’t want to feel pressure to keep up with your friends.

  • Don’t consume anything unless you know exactly what’s in it. Whether it’s an alcoholic drink or another kind of drug, it can be really dangerous to consume something with unknown contents.

  • Avoid drinking if you are in a bad mood to begin with. Drinking has been known to intensify your mood. If you’re feeling happy, you may become very happy but if you’re feeling sad, you may become very sad. 

  • It’s okay to not drink alcohol. Don’t forget about the fun things that you can do without drinking alcohol. Get a bunch of friends together and have a picnic or go to the movies – slurpies never get old. Why not try giving up booze for a while with the help of Hello Sunday Morning - an organisation that can help you change your drinking patterns. 

If you are drinking or taking other drugs frequently and find that you often wake up with regrets, it’s worth having a go at putting these tips to action. If they aren’t working for you, there might be something else going on and you should think about having a chat to a friend or family member. If this doesn’t help, consider seeking professional help to see how you can go about resolving the problem. 

It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 04 March, 2016
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