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[ Alcohol ]

Alcohol (al-co-hol) also known as Booze, Bevvie, Drink and Swally is one of the oldest recreational drugs known to humans. It is widely used across society and is very much a part of British culture.

Alcohol is a depressant (downer) drug which can make you feel calm and relaxed. It also lowers your heart rate and breathing. People using it can feel more outgoing and experience improved mood and increased confidence as well as feeling drowsy, confused and sick. It also lowers your inhibitions and can lead to dependency if used regularly and to excess.

It comes in many different forms (beer, spirits, wine). The recommended daily dose for women is the equivalent of two 25 mL measures of a spirit, one glass of wine (175 mL) or one bottle of alcopops. For men it is one pint of normal strength beer/cider or two 330ml bottles of beer. You should also try to have at least two alcohol free days each week to allow your body to recover.

Strength varies a lot and people respond differently. Factors such as body weight, mood, what and when you’ve eaten and tolerance can change how alcohol affects you. And a note for ladies- when you are on your period you might feel more drunk from less alcohol!

What you need to know

If you choose to drink alcohol:

-It is important to know your limits
-Drink slowly and have soft drinks or water between alcoholic drinks to pace yourself
-Women tend to have a lower tolerance and can feel the effects quicker than men (this is due to the way our bodies are made and not to do with how manly or feminine you are)
-Drink a pint of water before bed and keep some nearby during the night to keep yourself hydrated
-Know what you are drinking and avoid mixing drinks
-Avoid mixing with other drugs especially cannabis which can make you whitey, and uppers which can cause strain on your heart. This includes mixers with caffeine in them such as Red Bull and other energy drinks.
-If you drink alcohol while taking anti-depressants you could be more likely to experience a 'blackout' where you cannot remember parts of the night. It could also make you feel more drunk from smaller amounts of alcohol than you normally would. Alcohol can affect your mood and mayinterfere with the effects of anti-depressents in stabalising your mood.

For more information about the risks of mixing alchol with other drugshead to the 'mixing substances' page here: http://bit.ly/1GqOape. Remember alcohol makes using most other drugs risky so try to avoid alcohol if you are planning to use other substances.

Legal Information

It is currently an offence to sell or buy alcohol for someone under 18. Police can confiscate alcohol from under 18’s drinking in public. The law on alcohol and being drunk in public is complicated. For those over 18 the law on drinking alcohol in public spaces is not the same in all towns and cities. Local by-laws and areas of enforcement vary so check before you open any alcohol on public transport or in the street.

There are laws against drinking and driving which you can find out more about here: http://bit.ly/1zV3O40

Despite being psychoactive, alcohol is exempt from The Psychoactive Substances Act.