Desired Effects:Mild intoxication, relaxation, cheerfulness, sociability.
Side Effects:Dehydration, loss of coordination, slurred speech, disinhibition, visual disturbance, confusion.
- Although alcohol is legal, it is a depressant drug.
- Drinking on an empty stomach can cause you to become more drunk more quickly because the alcohol will get into your bloodstream and to your brain faster; so always make sure you eat a meal before you start drinking.
- Try to pace drinking by having water or a soft drink between alcoholic drinks. This will give your liver a bit more time to process the alcohol and you won't feel as dehydrated.
- If you're out with friends avoid drinking in rounds as it can be easy to lose track of what you're drinking.
- Don't be pressured by others into drinking too much.
- Don't be forced into drinking too quickly or get involved in drinking games.
- Don't mix your drinks. Mixing drinks can make you more drunk and feel ill than if you just stick to one type of drink.
- Don't leave your drink unattended and always make sure you watch your drink being opened / poured, this will avoid someone spiking it.
- Make sure you know how you're getting home before you leave the pub / club.
- When you get home drink some water to help rehydrate your body and dilute the alcohol in your bloodstream; when you go to bed sleep on your side in the recovery position to avoid choking if you throw up.
- If someone is suffering bad effects like vomiting, convulsions, unconsciousness - put them in the recovery position and call for medical assistance immediately.
Short term risks
Overdose, accidents (drunk-driving). Unconsciousness, coma, death.
Mild intoxication, cheerfulness, sociability
Long term risks
Dependence, withdrawal symptoms, significant permanent damage to the brain and other organs (heart, liver, stomach) that can be fatal.
Long term risks:Dependence, withdrawal symptoms, significant permanent damage to the brain and other organs (heart, liver, stomach) that can be fatal.
Short term risks:Tolerance, overdose, accidents (drunk-driving). Unconsciousness, coma, death. If used during pregnancy it could damage the developing embryo (foetal alcohol syndrome).
For information on Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD), please click the link to the Alcohol Exchange website Alcohol-related brain damage - signs and symptoms | Alcohol Change UK
Parents & other relatives
Many alcohol / drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents, family members and partners of people using alcohol. They may provide relative support groups or advice, guidance and counselling on a one to one basis. Al-Anon is a support service for anyone who has been affected by someone elses drinking.