Drugs and Alcohol

All drugs carry risks and here are some of them:

  • You can never be sure of exactly what you are taking.
  • What you buy is unlikely to be pure and may well have been mixed with something.
  • If you don't know what the strength of the drug is that you are taking, you risk having an accidental overdose.
  • Different drugs have different effects on different people, and a drug can have a different effect each time you use it.
  • It is often very dangerous to mix drugs and this includes taking drugs and drinking alcohol.
  • If you share needles, syringes or other injecting equipment, there is a serious risk of you catching diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis.
  • Injecting damages your veins.
  • Unlawful possession of some drugs is a criminal offence.
  • If you have a conviction for a drugs offence, it can prevent you obtaining a visa to visit a foreign country.
  • If you apply for a job, your employer may check to see if you have any convictions, so your job prospects may be affected in the future.

If you’re worried about you or your friends drinking too much, you can contact FRANK - a totally free and confidential helpline on 0800 77 66 00

The Effects

  • Alcohol will often exaggerate whatever mood you're in when you start drinking.
  • Alcohol is a relaxant so, in moderation, it can reduce feelings of anxiety and inhibitions, making you feel more sociable.
  • It takes your body an hour to process one unit of alcohol.
  • One drink too many can leave you feeling out of control – like slurring your words, losing your balance and being sick.
  • Long-term excessive use of alcohol causes illnesses such as liver damage, stomach cancer and heart disease.

The Law

  • Under 16s can go into a restaurant where alcohol is served, if accompanied by an adult, but can’t have any alcoholic drinks
  • 16-17 year olds can drink beer, wine and cider with a meal, as long as someone over 18 buys it
  • 18 and over can enter a pub and buy any alcoholic drink for yourself
  • No-one can buy alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 from a shop or bar. If they’re caught they can be fined up to £1,000