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Booze, bevvy, drink, swally & one of the oldest recreational drugs known to humans.


A pint of lagerEthanol is the active bit of alcohol and is a depressant drug. Alcohol is measured in units and the number of units in a drink depends on the % of alcohol in the solution. Therefore something which has 35% alcohol by volume as in a bottle of vodka would mean around a third of the bottles volume would be pure alcohol.

The daily recommended allowance for women is 2-3 units and for men 3-4 units. As a rough guide:

  • 330ml bottle of beer (5% alcohol) = 1.7 units
  • Pint of strong cider (6% alcohol) = 3.4 units
  • Bottle of alcopops (5% alcohol) = 1.5 units
  • Big bottle of buckfast (15%) = 9units
  • 25ml measure of spirits (35% alcohol) = 1 unit

Strength varies greatly and people respond differently. Factors such as body weight, mood, food consumption and tolerance can change how alcohol affects you. It is important that you know your own limits.


Positive: Relaxed feeling, mood lift, anaesthetic, increased confidence, more outgoing & laid back feeling.

Neutral: Slurred speech, flushed skin, drowsiness, difficulties focusing, building tolerance, silliness, lowered inhibitions.

Negative: Decreased co-ordination, puking, violent actions, confusion, depression, reduced sexual inhibitions, risk of dependence, unconsciousness, alcohol poisoning and in extreme cases, death.

Harm Reduction

  • Know what you are drinking and avoid mixing drinks
  • Some mixers can contain caffeine, a stimulant drug which can affect your mood
  • Stay with friends & look after each other
  • Drink slowly and space drinks out
  • Avoid mixing drink with drugs
  • Drink a pint of water before bed and during the night to re-hydrate yourself
  • Females tend to have a lower tolerance to alcohol and can feel the effects quicker than males
  • Smoking weed and drinking alcohol can make you whitey
  • Try to have two alcohol free days per week to allow your body to recover.

The Law

It is currently an offence to sell alcohol to U18's. Police can confiscate alcohol from U18's drinking in public. The law on alcohol is not simple and local by-laws complicate things further.


Generally it takes one hour for the body to get rid of 1 unit of alcohol. However it is important to remember that this depends on how much you drink, the period of drinking, whether you are tired, your mood, food consumption and tolerance. Remember you may still be over the drink drive limit the morning after.