You can use the ChatHealth text service to confidently ask for help about a range of issues from a school nurse including alcohol. You do not have to give your name if you don’t want to.
It can be very tempting to try drinking when your friends are having fun, socialising and relaxing. Some people are just curious and may try once or twice to see what it is like and decide to leave it.
Some people use alcohol and drugs as a way of escaping their feelings. They might be stressed, depressed, anxious or insecure, and they might think the drugs are helping them – when they are actually making things worse.
Going out with your friends, staying home with your family, or celebrating something special can often involve alcohol. A lot of people go to the pub or parties to meet friends or make new ones. There are a lot of drinks to choose from. You have to be over 18 to buy alcoholic drinks.
You need to know how much drink you can handle. Some drinks contain more alcohol than others. We measure this by how many units a drink has. The recommended maximum amount to drink per week is fourteen units. Do not be afraid to say when you have had enough.
When you drink alcohol
Alcohol can change the way you feel because it affects the brain. This means it can affect moving, talking, seeing, feelings and thinking – all things that your brain does. People may get silly, or very sad, or aggressive if they have too much alcohol.
If you are out with a drunk friend who has begun to talk loudly, slur their words, or become a little too excitable or unstable on their feet, it might be time to step in. Gently make them aware that they are drunk. Suggest switching to soft drinks instead or grabbing a snack. Stay with them and if walking back is not safe then call for a taxi or trusted adult. If you are really worried about a mate who has drunk too much, then call 999 immediately. It might save a life and you won’t face any repercussions.
If you drank too much in one go you may have a hangover the next day. This means you may have a bad headache, feel sick, have diarrhoea, or stomach pains.
But having too much alcohol over a longer period can lead to lasing side effects. This may include losing weight, getting colds and infections more easily, feeling irritable or depressed. But also, more serious diseases like different types of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease.
People can help you if you think you are drinking too much – see the links in related content and explore the topic or contact your doctor.
Sometimes people may try to spike your drink. This means they put an extra shot of alcohol or a drug into your drink without you knowing, to make you more vulnerable. This is a serious crime, they may be doing it to be able to steal from you or sexually assault you. The effects can be unpredictable. Signs your drink has been spiked include lowered inhibitions, loss of balance, confusion, feeling sleepy or feeling sick. It can be a scary experience and it is important to seek help as soon as possible. You can try to avoid your drink being spiked by never leaving your drink unattended. Look out for your friends, and don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know. Find out more at DrinkAware