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Alcohol

booze, grog, drink, sauce,

 

history

Widely used, and legal, in most of the world throughout history. Briefly, and with disastrous results, banned in the UK & USA at various  times. By far the most commonly used drug in the UK.

 

appearance

Sold as a liquid, in a wide variety of colours and, packaged in cans or bottles, and sometimes cartons.

 

method of use

Swallowed.

 

effects

The desired effects are usually relaxation, and increased sociability and talkativeness.

Higher doses can cause loss of coordination, slurred speech, memory loss/blackout, and drowsiness.

There is a strong connection between higher doses of alcohol and aggressive and violent behaviour.

Although these drugs can relieve tension etc. they will only mask the underlying problems, not solve them.

 

health risks

In low doses some alcohol may be beneficial to health, but drinking more than the recommended doses regularly can lead to a wide range of physical health problems, including Liver Damage, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Stomach Problems, Some forms of Dementia, and various Cancers.

Alcohol impairs driving ability, and increases the risk of accident.

Combining alcohol with other depressant drugs (such as Heroin or Benzodiazepines), greatly increases the risk of overdose.

Combining alcohol with Stimulant drugs (particularly Cocaine) greatly increases the risk to heart health.

Due to its legality, many people assume that Alcohol is relatively harmless. However it is responsible for several thousand deaths each year in this country, and treating alcohol related illness and injury costs the NHS many millions of pounds each year.

 

dependency

Both physical and psychological dependency to Alcohol is extremely common. Physical dependency causes withdrawal symptoms such as shaking hands, anxiety, confusion, and possible seizures. Psychological dependency involves an inability to stop drinking once started, or a pattern of stopping and starting repeatedly.

Physical dependency to Alcohol carries very serious health risks, with users being at risk of seizures (which can be fatal) if stopping their use suddenly. For this reason it is important for a dependent drinker to either be weaned gradually off the alcohol, or to be ‘detoxed’ under medical supervision.

If you are physically dependent to Alcohol, DO NOT STOP SUDDENLY, seek advice from your local drug service or GP.

 

the law

Alcohol is widely available, and legal for all people over the age of 18.

Published in Alcohol & Drugs