As a young person you probably have friends who are experimenting with alcohol and you may have done so yourself. You may also be concerned you are now drinking too much.
Young people drink for all sorts of reasons, perhaps your friends are and you don’t want to be the odd one out. It is important to remember to keep yourself safe if you do choose to experiment with alcohol make sure that you know all the facts.
Some effects of alcohol can include feeling sick/ill whilst drinking when you have had too much, feeling hung over the next day and feeling low the next day. This is all part of the body’s reaction to a powerful, depressant drug. Alcohol is a depressant drug which slows the body down so you have slower responses. This can result in falls and accidents as you will not react as quickly as you usually do. Alcohol also reduces your inhibitions, meaning you may put yourself in vulnerable situations or do something that you will regret the next day.
Alcohol is also full of calories – 1 large glass of wine has the same calorie amount as a slice of sponge cake!
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If you do decide to use alcohol think about using these tips to help keep yourself safe:
Eat before you go out – Carbs or protein are good foods to eat before you drink and help the alcohol not go to your head as quickly, meaning you are more aware of what you are doing whilst drinking. It may also help you to avoid eating a greasy kebab or chips at the end of a night out which are full of calories!
Stay with your friends – You can be vulnerable when drinking so make sure you stick together!
Don’t take your valuables out with you – When drinking it is easier to lose things as your inhibitions are lowered so leave anything at home that you do not need
Drink water – It is a good idea to drink water between drinks to keep you hydrated and to drink water when you get home to reduce the hangover the next day
Make sure you have taxi fare – Try and keep some money separately to make sure you can get home safely, or if possible plan a lift home before you go out.
Beware of home measures – When pouring their own, people can pour bigger drinks than they would get in pubs. Be aware of the amount you are pouring in order not to get too drunk.
Young people may also drink because they feel stressed, worried or bored. As alcohol is a depressant drug this can make you feel lower in the long run. Think about someone you feel able to talk to about any worries you may have rather than using alcohol to cope.
Aquarius offer individual sessions with you and a keyworker where you can talk about your alcohol use confidentially and we can look at ways to support you with your goals. We give alcohol information and advice and will also support you to look at hobbies/training and education that you may be interested in starting. If you are aged 15-21 and are concerned about your drinking please contact our Birmingham office. You can also ask a family member/friend to call on your behalf if you are nervous about calling yourself.