Drugs Information, what you really should know about, drugs facts on and facts about alcohol

A Guide for worried parents, teenagers who are using drugs or thinking about using drugs and anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

This website has been accredited by the Matthew Project in Norwich, Greater Manchester Police force and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (The White House)


Alcohol abuse is a pattern of problem drinking that results in health consequences, social problems, or both. However, alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, refers to a disease that is characterized by abnormal alcohol seeking behavior that leads to impaired control over drinking.

Common street names:
Wine, beer, lager, cider, sherry, martini, gin, vodka, whisky, 'drink', 'booze'.

How are they taken:
They are all taken orally or having first been absorbed into an edible product, when eaten alcohol is a depressant drug.

It slows down the nervous system, reactions and the way the body functions. Less inhibited / more relaxed / sometimes aggressive. Dizziness, giggling, tiredness, loss of concentration and in some cases a person can collapse. Light drinking in adults (1-3 units a day) is unlikely to damage health. For women the recommended sensible level is 14 units, or less, per week. For men, 21 units or less. Over 3 units per day increasingly causes health and social problems. One unit equivalent to one glass of wine, one measure of spirits or half pint beer.


The risks:
Too much in one go can slow your body down to the point where it stops working altogether. Many fatal overdoses with drugs such as heroin and tranquillisers happen when people have been boozing. Taking more than one drug at the same time is often dangerous and unpredictable, alcohol is one of the worst mixers. You probably know all the dangers of long term heavy drinking - alcoholism, the dts, stomach and liver damage, obesity, brain damage, risk of cancers, memory loss, mood swings and personality changes, etc. But what about less heavy, regular drinking? Accidents are much more likely - traffic and pedestrian accidents, operating machinery, falling over, etc. Male violence against both men and women is common and some men sexually harass women when drunk.

Over 1000 people under 15 years old in the UK alone go to hospital each year with alcohol poisoning. Evidence suggests alcohol directly or indirectly causes 25,000 deaths a year.

How do I know if I, or someone close, has a drinking problem?:
inability to control drinking, regardless of what you decide you frequently wind up drunk using alcohol to escape problems visual hallucinations and severe mood swings a change in personality-turning from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde
blackouts-sometimes not remembering what happened while drinking concern shown by family and friends about drinking problems at work or in school as a result of drinking
Prolonged heavy use can result in:
loss of appetite vitamin deficiencies stomach ailments skin problems
liver damage sexual impotence liver, lung, and kidney impairmant heart and central nervous system damage
memory loss
Short-term effects:
distorted vision, hearing, and coordination altered perceptions and emotions impaired judgment bad breath; hangovers

For information about other drugs, return to Drug Information Page.