Alcohol

Alcohol

Alcohol is legal. However, it's illegal to sell it to anyone under 18. It's illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under five.

Alcohol is a liquid drug. It's physically addictive - your body can start to crave it.

Recommended alcohol intake

Units are used to show how much alcohol there is in a drink. Different drinks have different numbers of units. For example, a single (25ml) measure of spirits has one unit, a medium (175ml) glass of 12% wine or a pint of normal strength lager has two units.

The Government's recommended alcohol intake for men and women over 18 is no more than 2 units per day. Visit drinkaware for more details on this.

How does alcohol affect the body?

When you have a drink, you can start feeling the effects within five minutes.

The effects of alcohol on the body can vary - a small amount can make you feel relaxed, more sociable and less inhibited. You could also become excited, sad or aggressive. Alcohol will slow down your reactions too. Your speech can slur and you can fall over more easily.

Different people are affected by different amounts of alcohol. It depends on your tolerance level which is affected by how often and how much you drink. Your tolerance can also be affected by how much you've had to eat and your weight.

The risks: You could end up being sick, falling over and injuring yourself or losing consciousness. Or you could get alcohol poisoning, which can kill you. If your drink is spiked, you could be assaulted.

Heavy or long-term drinking can cause cancer, liver damage, memory loss and heart disease.

Alcohol image courtesy of Talk to Frank, Crown Copyright.