ALCOHOL: The facts

There are many slang names for alcohol, including booze, bevvy and cargo. And 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:

  • A small amount can reduce feelings of anxiety and inhibitions, making you feel more sociable. It will often exaggerate whatever mood you're in when you start drinking.
  • The short-term effects of alcohol can last for a day or two, depending on how much you drank, including the hangover. Long-term effects include damage to the body that can take years to develop.
  • 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.