Getting dressed up to the nines and heading to the races sounds glamorous, and should be, but for some it can play on impulsive issues such as binge drinking, impulsive spending and gambling.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to witness very well-dressed young men and women who have over-indulged at the race track.

For those who know they have a problem consuming too much alcohol in too short a time, or don’t know when to stop betting on the horses, it would be wise to seek help before you attend the races or decide to give it a miss this year.

The 3 bad habits that might pop up during the races include;

1. Binge drinking

Binge drinking is frequently defined as a man having 5 or more drinks in a 2-hour period, or a woman having 4 or more drinks in the same period. As the drinks begin to flow, and the rounds continue throughout the day at the racecourse, some of our young punters can find themselves intoxicated. This is where some people can find themselves in trouble, because studies show there is a relationship between binge drinking and high-risk behaviours and injury.

2. Impulsive overspending

Many women and men attend the races for the prestige of the event and the fashion stakes appear to be high. These days there is also the additional pressure of posting photos capturing the latest fashion trends on social media. This is all a recipe for an impulsive decision-maker to overspend on their outfit, turning their spring savings into a bank balance disaster. Impulsive overspending may make you feel good for a moment, look good at the races, but then make you feel deflated when you get home. Enduring the lean time between paychecks can make you feel frustrated, ashamed or angry.

3. Gambling

Nothing says you could win big and have fun more than those heavily advertised race days such as the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. This is a dangerous proposition because a recent Australian report found that the two most common reasons used to gamble were for fun (62%) and the chance of winning big money (52%). Throw alcohol or drugs into the mix and race goers could experience Gamblers’ Fallacy, where a loss on one race is interpreted in a way that supports the conviction that a win is imminent. This can lead to persistence in gambling.
Binge drinking, impulsive overspending and gambling can all lead to interpersonal problems such as a relationship breakdown or have an impact on careers.

It is not all doom and gloom. It is possible people can still have fun at the races by equipping themselves with the knowledge and skills to help them understand their thinking and their impulsive behaviour, and how to manage it.

Take the impulsivity test today – click here