Firstly, depending on how old you are, you have to remember the laws on alcohol:
You cannot buy alcohol from a shop or in a pub or club in the UK (and most of Europe) until you are 18. It is also illegal for anyone to sell it to you and if you get someone 18+ to buy it for you, they can be prosecuted as well.
Remember, if you don't want a drink then don't have one
Even after one or two drinks, your judgement will be affected and you are more likely to have accidents, take risks and do things that you wouldn't normally do. This is why you should never drink and drive or operate machinery after drinking.
If you do drink, drink slowly and don't mix your drinks, because besides the fact that a double vodka and Redbull on top of a couple of pints of Stella tastes horrible and you'll probably end up throwing up in the toilet, mixing drinks and drinking too much makes you prone to accidents and also seriously damages your health.
Know your limits
The amount of alcohol that you consume is measured in 'units'. Here are some rough examples of what makes up a typical 'unit'
- Half a pint of beer or cider
- A small glass of wine
- A single measure of spirits (e.g. Jack Daniels, vodka, gin, or Malibu)
It is recommended by health experts that adult men don't have any more than 21 units per week and that women have no more than 14 units. In real terms this means that if you go out to the pub every night, men shouldn't really have more than 2 pints of beer or lager, or more than 3 glasses of wine, or 3 single shots with a mixer (e.g. no more than 3 vodka and RedBulls). But remember, this still doesn't mean you have to drink your recommended allowance every day.
Also, women tend to get drunk faster than men on the same amount of alcohol because alcohol is more diluted in a man's body than a woman's as a man's body is made up of around 10% more fluid than a woman's.
It's time to think about cutting down if you know you are drinking over the recommended allowance or if you can see yourself in any of these signs.
- Drinking more to get the same effect.
- Seriously regretting things when you've done when you've been drunk (e.g. finding out you've had your moose goggles on and waking up next to a complete minger).
- Missing important events (like a job interview) because you're hungover or still drunk.
- Drinking excessive amounts in one sitting ("binge drinking").
And if the following points sound familiar, you could have well developed an alcohol problem that requires help:
- Drinking in secret and lying about how much you drink.
- Thinking about alcohol even you're not drinking and becoming anxious when you can't get access to drink.
- Getting into trouble as a result of alcohol (i.e. accidents or violence).
- Finding yourself short of cash because you've spent it all on drink.
- Thinking you need a drink to help deal with certain situations.
- Reacting angrily when people suggest you have a drink problem
If you think you might need help with an alcohol problem or think you know someone who does, then check out some of these sites for help and advice:
- Drinkwise - www.drinkwise.co.uk
- Wrecked - www.wrecked.co.uk
- National Association for the Children of Alcoholics - www.nacoa.org.uk
- Matthew project - under 18's
These websites have not been endorsed by Norfolk Children's Services. Please exercise caution when browsing the World Wide Web.