| WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
Alcohol is a drug that slows down the brain and nervous system. It is the
Drinking a small amount is not harmful for most people, but regular drinking
of a lot of
EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL
The effects of alcohol differ from person to person, depending on:
how much you drink
how quickly you drink it
your size and weight
whether you are male or female
how good your general health is
how healthy your liver is
where you drink
whether you drink alone
whether you use alcohol with other drugs
Alcohol slows down the messages sent between the brain and the rest of the body. This can make you:
do or say things you normally wouldn't
have bad balance
have trouble controlling how you move (bad coordination)
have blurred vision (not see clearly)
slur your words (not speak clearly)
DRINKING A LOT IN A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME CAN CAUSE:
stopping breathing (rare)
Because alcohol affects sight and
co-ordination, drinking often causes accidents - especially car crashes
Drinking a lot of alcohol regularly over time is likely to cause physical, emotional or social problems.
These can include:
liver and brain damage
damage to reproductive organs
heart and blood disorders
money or legal troubles
Damage to some body organs can be permanent.
WOMEN AND ALCOHOL
Doctors suggest that women should
drink less than men. This is because women's body tissue absorbs
get drunk more quickly than men;
recover from drinking more slowly than men;
go over the legal driving limit more quickly than men.
TOLERANCE AND DEPENDENCE
Anyone can develop a 'tolerance'
to alcohol. Tolerance means that you must drink more to feel the same
'Dependence' on alcohol means that
it takes up much of your thoughts, emotions and activities. Not all
Dependent people find it very difficult
to stop or reduce drinking. This is because of withdrawal.
hallucinations (seeing or hearing things)
MIXING ALCOHOL WITH OTHER DRUGS
Using alcohol at the same time as
any other drug can be dangerous. This includes drinking alcohol while
Mixing alcohol with other drugs that slow down the body (e.g. sleeping pills, heroin, marijuana) can:
make it harder think clearly
make it harder to properly control how you move
stop your breathing and cause death.
ALCOHOL AND PREGNANCY
Regular drinking of any alcohol
during pregnancy can cause problems for both the mother and the baby.