10 things your kids should know about alcohol

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  • If they understand exactly what alcohol is doing to their body it may put them off!

    1. Alcohol is a drug that’s safe in moderation but not if you drink too much of it. It gets into the bloodstream within a few minutes of drinking and is carried to all parts of the body.

    2. When alcohol hits your brain, you feel relaxed and less inhibited.

    3. Your speech can then become slurred and you may be unsteady on your feet as alcohol affects co-ordination.

    4. Your reaction times and decision-making will be affected too so you’re more likely to have an accident, get into arguments or take risks.

    5. If you drink too much it can make you feel sick, have blackouts or lose consciousness.

    6. Alcohol is a depressant, so you may feel quite low after drinking.

    7. The effects can take hours to wear off and depend on:

    * How much and how quickly you’ve been drinking
    * Your size. Alcohol will be more concentrated in a smaller body so it will affect a child much more severely than a fully-grown adult.
    * What you’ve been drinking (strong drinks such as spirits and fizzy drinks like cider are absorbed more quickly)
    * How used you are to drinking alcohol
    * Other factors, such as whether you’ve eaten.

    8. If you drink regularly, even if you don’t get drunk, it can damage internal organs and increases your risk of liver cirrhosis, stomach ulcers, strokes, heart disease, and some cancers.

    9. Alcohol poisoning can kill you.

    10. If you take illegal drugs and drink alcohol it’s particularly dangerous, increasing the likelihood of a serious drug overdose.

    Where to next?

    Teens and alcohol: A guide for parents – What’s your teenager up to this weekend?
    Your story: ‘I noticed beer and wine going missing’