Staying Safe

Alcohol and you

Campaign poster - girl dancing and then being sickYou might think that drinking will make you feel happy and relaxed. You might be right - alcohol may well increase your confidence and lower your inhibitions.

The down side to this is that it can lead to you taking unnecessary risks.

Drinking alcohol is especially harmful if you're under 15. At any age though, it can affect your decision-making, your health, your physical appearance and lead to you getting involved in things that might not seem so smart when you're sober.

Getting into dangerous situations

If you're drunk, it's harder for you to realise how dangerous some situations can be, so you're much more likely to injure yourself climbing something or getting into a fight. It's best to use a bit of common sense and just avoid dangerous situations all together.

Arguing and fighting

If you drink alcohol, then it's more likely you will lose your temper with people. One in seven boys and almost a quarter of girls say they get into arguments after drinking alcohol. Violence is often a short step away. More than one in ten 15–16-year-olds who drink alcohol say they have got into fights as a result of drinking.

Violent behaviour

If you're going to have a drink it's best to do it in a safe place indoors when there are trusted adults around. If you drink out in the street or in the park, you've got a far higher chance of being involved in some sort of violence. Four out of ten young people who drink outside encounter violence – they might be assaulted, or they might end up throwing a punch themselves.

Unwanted Sex

Drinking clouds your judgement and makes it harder for you to make good decisions. You or your friends can quickly find yourselves in situations you didn't expect and end up doing things you might regret. One in five girls (and one in ten boys) aged 14–15 have done things they've regretted the next day because they've been drinking. Decide for yourself what you want to do and how you want to do it. Don't let alcohol decide for you.

Unsafe sex

Drinking makes you more likely to be careless when it comes to sex so you may run the risk of not using protection. The facts are that almost one in ten boys and around one in eight girls aged 15–16 have unsafe sex after drinking. So whatever happens, stay safe so you can avoid STDs.

Getting a criminal record

Young people who drink alcohol are much more likely to come into contact with crime. The result could well be that they end up with a criminal record, which can damage their prospects for the rest of their life. It can certainly exclude them from some jobs and, for particular offences, prevent them from travelling abroad to some countries like USA.

Find who can help with alcohol here.

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