Alcohol is one of the strongest mood-changing drugs in the world. Alcohol is called a ‘legal drug’, although under 18s are not allowed to drink it. This is because a young person’s body and brain cannot cope with alcohol in the same way as an adult’s can.
Alcohol can make you feel relaxed, cheerful and confident. But it is actually a depressant, which means it slows the function of your central nervous system. It can make your speech slurred or slow, your movements wobbly and you react to things much slower. That’s why is is so dangerous to drive a car while drunk.
Drinking too much is also unpleasant. The room spins, you can get sick, slur your words and lose your memory. Some people get aggressive. It also lowers your inhibitions and you can end up doing stuff you'd never do if you weren’t drunk, like having unsafe sex or having sex with someone you don’t like or even don’t know.
If you keep drinking and the amount of alcohol in your body gets too high, it can be very dangerous and cause a coma or even death.
It’s not easy to say ‘no’, especially in front of your friends. So you could try to say things like: "No thanks," "I don't drink," or ‘I feel a bit sick, I’ll stick to a soda.’
Drinking interferes with your mind and judgement and can leads to unsafe sex.