Drug & Alcohol Awareness

What is alcohol?

What is alcohol?

Alcohol is a depressant drug, which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body.1

Effects of alcohol

There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.

Alcohol affects everyone differently, based on:

  • Size, weight and health
  • Whether the person is used to taking it
  • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
  • The amount drunk
  • The strength of the drink

The following effects may be experienced:

  • Feeling relaxed
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Slower reflexes 
  • Increased confidence
  • Feeling happier or sadder, depending on your mood

If a lot of alcohol is consumed the following may also be experienced:

  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Clumsiness 
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Passing out
  • Coma
  • Death


The following day, the effects of a hangover may be experienced including:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea and nausea
  • Tiredness and trembling 
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure 
  • Dry mouth and eyes 
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Anxiety 
  • Restless sleep

Sobering up

To sober up takes time. The liver gets rid of about one standard drink an hour. Sweating it out with exercise, cold showers, coffee, fresh air and/or vomiting will not speed up the process. They may ease the symptoms, but they do not remove alcohol from the bloodstream any faster. This means it may not be safe to drive or work the following day.4,5

Long term effects

Regular use of alcohol may eventually cause:

  • Regular colds or flu
  • Difficulty getting an erection (males)
  • Depression
  • Poor memory and brain damage
  • Difficulty having children (males and females)
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure and heart disease
  • Needing to drink more to get the same effect
  • Dependence on alcohol
  • Financial, work and social problems

Download the Alcohol Fact Sheet (PDF)


Translate this page

proudly supported by