Drinking alcohol is something most adults do to unwind or mark a celebration. When used sensibly and in moderation ‘having a drink’ is an enjoyable way to socialise and relax, but alcohol is a powerful drug and when taken in large amounts or over a long period of time it can damage our bodies and have negative affects on other aspects of life like relationships, study, work. That is one reason why it is illegal to drink in the UK until the age of 18.
It is helpful to be well informed not just on how alcohol works and how to it affects our bodies, but also to access advice and support if we feel under pressure to drink before the legal age limit or if someone we care about is drinking too much. There are many charities and agencies listed below that can provide this.
Alcohol is a recreational drug, like all drugs it can be dangerous when used irresponsibly, but it is legal. There are many recreational drugs which are not legal because the effects of taking them are considered to be too dangerous, such drugs include: cannabis, skunk, ketamine, cocaine, heroin etc. Using these drugs can damage physical and mental health, lead to addiction, bring about financial demands and debt, damage study, employment, and relationships. If you or somebody you care about are using drugs you need to understand the implications of doing so and think carefully about stopping.
There are many charities and agencies that are there to help, including:
www.talktofrank.com – extensive information and advice on drugs and alcohol
www.fixers.org.uk – website for young people at risk of alcohol and drugs misuse
http://www.childline.org.uk/Explore/DamagingYourself/Pages/DamagingYourself.aspx – information and resources on drugs and alcohol
www.starsnationalinitiative.org.uk – website for children, young people, and families affected by parental drugs and alcohol misuse
www.al-anonuk.org.uk – useful website for teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics
www.youngcarers.net – follow the links on the website to ‘I care for someone who uses drink or drugs’
www.edp.org.uk – edp works with people in Devon and Dorset, who have or have been affected by drug or alcohol problems.
www.edasuk.org/which-area-do-you-live-in/dorset/shadows/ – confidential and non-judgemental service for under 18s misusing drugs or alcohol.