Alcohol is a depressant drug that will slow you down

When people drink alcohol it gets into the bloodstream and goes to the brain.
It starts to affect how you think and feel, and can lead you to do things you wouldnt normally do and that you might regret.
Being drunk isn't an excuse to get away with things you should always try to think about the consequences of what you are doing.

How much alcohol people drink is measured in units

A unit of alcohol is equivalent to;

  • Half a pint of ordinary strength lager or beer
  • 1 small glass of wine (125ml)
  • A 25ml measure spirit

The goverment has set some safe daily limits for adults who want to drink alcohol.  These are :

  • 2-3 Units per day (no more than 14 in any week).

These limits only apply to over 18's.

There are no recommended safe guidlines for drinking alcohol when under 18 years of age.

It is recommended that young people under the age of 15 do not drink alcohol at all because of the effects alcohol can have on how you develop and grow and because of the risks involved.

The risks include:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pains
  • Bad skin
  • Long term health risks including liver disease
  • Lack of control
  • Getting in trouble with the police

Drinking alcohol can make you feel happy, relaxed and confident. However, drinking too much too often can cause problems.

  • Accidents are more likely under the influence of alcohol, especially falling over.
  • Drinkers are more likely to put themselves in sexual situations they may regret they are also less likely to practise safer sex.
  • Drinking too much in one go can lead to losing consciousness and even death by poisoning or choking on vomit.
  • Drinking alcohol over a long period of time can damage the heart, liver, stomach and brain.
  • Some people can become agressive and there is an increased risk of being involved in fights and trouble with the police.

What you can do to keep safe

  • Dont drink on an empty stomach, this can make you very drunk very quickly. Always make sure you eat something before you drink alcohol.
  • Avoid mixing different types of drink.
  • Never drink alcohol on your own as this makes you more at risk of problems.
  • Only time will sober you up.  It is not true that coffee, cold showers or fresh air will sober you up.
  • Drink water as well as drinking alcohol and drink a pint of water before going to bed. This will help your body recover and help to stop you feeling dehydrated
  • Sip your drinks, dont gulp them as this will speed up the effects of alcohol.