"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"
Key Information





Ethyl alcohol


Booze, Drink, Bevvies, Liquor and brand names.


Alcohol is a depressant drug that slows down the nervous system, relieving tension and anxiety. The effects vary according to the amount taken, and how it is taken i.e. drinking fast or slow, diluted or straight etc. Effects vary from being relaxed, confident, sociable to loss of judgement, decreased inhibitions, vomiting, slurred speech, memory loss and staggering.


Alcohol is sold in many forms such as beer, wines, spirits and Alco-pops and is drunk.

HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:

Drinking too much in one go can slow your body down to the point where it stops working altogether. Can also lead to alcoholism. Other risks include cancer of the throat, depression, kidney & liver damage, heart problems, inflammation of the pancreas, paranoia and mood swings/aggressiveness. Social problems also occur with the heavy use of alcohol such as STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, violence and family breakdown.  Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous. Sudden withdrawal symptoms (the DT’s – delirium tremens) include sweating, anxiety, trembling, delirium and can even result in convulsions, coma and death.


Under 5 – It’s illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under 5 except in certain circumstances (e.g. under medical supervision).
Under 14 - A person under 14 can't go into a bar or pub unless the pub has a 'children's certificate'. Without this certificate they can only go into parts that aren't licensed and where alcohol is either sold but not drunk (e.g. a sales point away from the pub), OR drunk but not sold (e.g. a beer garden or family room).
14 or 15 – They can go anywhere in a pub but can't drink alcohol.
16 or 17 – They can buy (or be bought) beer or cider so long as it's bought to eat with a meal, but not in a bar (i.e. only in a place specifically set aside for meals).
Under 18 – With the exception of having a meal in a pub, it's against the law for anyone under 18 to buy alcohol in a pub, off-licence or supermarket. It's also illegal to buy alcohol in a pub for someone who's not 18.
Anyone over 18 can buy and drink alcohol legally in licensed premises in Britain.

  1. Alcohol-related absenteeism and poor work performance costs British industry more than £2bn a year.
  2. After smoking, drinking alcohol is the biggest risk factor for cancers of the mouth and throat.
  3. Every year, it's estimated that dealing with the effects of alcohol on our health costs the NHS £110.5m. This does not include the work of the emergency services.
  4. Alcohol affects the brain like an anaesthetic. In fact, one of the very first anaesthetics ever used in medicine (Ether) is based on alcohol.
  5. Alcohol features in almost a third of all UK divorce petitions, which means one or both partner's drinking habits have contributed to the bust up.
  6. Alcohol robs your body of vitamin B complex, a vital group of nutrients, deficiency of which can cause skin damage and depression.
  7. Women may find their reaction to booze is affected by hormone level changes that occur during the menstrual cycle.
  8. Booze features in almost 40% of all domestic violence incidents in the UK.
  9. 50-60 units of alcohol per week could mean you end up in hospital needing a liver transplant.
  10. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol is stuffed with more calories than many foods. That's just for the alcohol content, mind you – any sugar in drinks comes on top of that.
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