Learn about Alcohol & it’s effects
Alcoholic drinks mainly contain water and ethyl alcohol (or ethanol) which is produced by fermenting and distilling fruit, vegetables or grains. Different drinks contain differing amounts of ethanol which is why some drinks are stronger than others for example beer contains about 1 part ethanol to 20 parts water whereas spirits contain almost half ethanol and half water. This is why spirits have a higher alcohol content than beer
Alcohol is a depressant (or downer) drug. This means that it suppresses or slows down the central nervous system and brain activity. This can cause the body to react in a variety of ways.
Many people believe that as it is legal to purchase alcohol (to those over the age of 18) and because it is widely used within society that it may be less harmful than other drugs, but using alcohol – especially to excess, can have serious consequences. See below for the short and long term risks and effects;
Booze, Bevy, Swally, Carry Oot, Cargo, Liquor, Sauce, Brew, Vino,
Short Term Effects
- Slows down the heart rate
- The affects can be felt in the body within 5-10 minutes
- Can affect vision, co-ordination, and can cause slurring of words
- Can make you feel aggressive and angry which could result in getting into trouble with the police
- Drinking too much can lead to risky behavior e.g. unprotected sex
- Can make you vomit
- Can make you feel happy and confident
- Can reduce inhibitions making you more likely to do things you wouldn’t do when sober
- Reduces the body’s core temperature leaving you susceptible to hypothermia
Long Term Effects
- The more someone drinks the more their body develops a tolerance to alcohol which means they have to drink more to get drunk
- Many people can develop an addiction to alcohol – alcoholism
- Can cause liver and brain damage
- Excessive drinking can cause problems in finances/relationships/ family life and gaining work
- Can affect fertility
- Can lead to financial difficulties
Harm Reduction tips:
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach
- Eat something salty whilst drinking – crisps, nuts, or chips as this can stop you dehydrating
- Alternate each alcoholic drink with a soft drink
- Know your limits
- Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol
- Don’t mix with other drugs
- Don’t leave your drink unattended
- Know where your mates are – don’t let them go off on their own
- Carry condoms
- For young people – it is recommended that you don’t drink at all if under 15, as this can be especially harmful as your body is still developing. The best advice is not to drink alcohol until you’re 18.
- Don’t 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 no more than 2-3 units.
- For adults – it is recommended men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day and women no more than 2-3 units a day.
Woman are advised to avoid alcohol during pregnancy as regular drinking can cause significant harm to mother and baby.
Lanarkshire Help Services
Landed have several resources available to help teach young people about the risks and affects associated with alcohol use. if you are an organisation you can view our products by visiting our shop page or contacting us directly if you wish to discuss a more customised order.
If you are under 25 & live in the Lanarkshire area you can access a copy of our Alcohol information booklet “Steamin” FREE OF CHARGE. Simply get in touch through the Contact page or call 01698 269872 to claim your copy