ALCOHOL

RELATED TERMS: BOOZE, BEVVY.

What is alcohol?

Although it is legal for those aged 18 and over to buy and drink alcohol, that doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful than other drugs.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down your body’s responses in all kinds of ways. Just enough can make you feel sociable; too much and you’ll have a hangover the next day, and may not even remember what you got up to; and way too much alcohol in a single session could put you in a coma or even kill you.

Effects of alcohol can include:

  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and inhibitions, making you feel more sociable.
  • Some exaggeration of whatever mood you’re in when you start drinking.
  • Causing a wide range of physical health problems, either as a result of binge drinking or from drinking most days of the week over recommended levels. The problems caused by alcohol include cancers, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, and falls and other accidents.

Official guidelines:

For young people – it is recommended that you don’t drink at all if under 15, as this can be especially harmful. The best advice is not to drink alcohol until you’re 18. If you do choose to drink before then, remember to make sure you’re with a responsible adult who will stop you doing anything that could be dangerous;

  • Never drink more than once a week – and on that one day young men are advised not to drink more than 3-4 units, and young women not to drink more than 2-3 units.
  • For adults – it is recommended men shouldn’t regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day and women shouldn’t regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day (regularly is drinking at this sort of level every day or most days of the week). After a night of heavy drinking, you shouldn’t drink for 48 hours to allow the body to recover.

Alcohol comes in a whole range of different drinks. It is also contained in many products such as hand creams, wipes, cleaners, mouthwash, cough syrup etc.