Think twice before taking that extra drink at office parties

Office party

As employees prepare to attend end-of-year celebrations, drug and alcohol experts warn that too much binge drinking can seriously inhibit an individual's decision-making ability.

Professor Dan Lubman, director of Melbourne's Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, said that people who drink excessively could find themselves making risky choices they later regret, News.com.au reported.

He said that the decision-making part of the brain becomes less effective as more alcohol is consumed.

"That means we are more likely to do things which we would not normally consider, which explains the increased rates of road accidents, injuries and assaults associated with intoxication," Prof Lubman said in a statement.

"Women under the influence of alcohol are also more likely to be sexually assaulted," he said.

Turning Point's clinical director Matthew Frei said that it's also best to avoid mixing drugs and alcohol.

"Using multiple substances, be they illicit, pharmaceutical or legal drugs, carries some risk because the outcomes and effects of combining multiple substances is less predictable," Dr Frei said.

"Our message is not about taking the fun out of Christmas.

"It's about ensuring everyone understands the risks with alcohol and drug use, and has a safe end to 2012," he added.

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