If you are under 18, it is against the law:
- For someone to sell you alcohol
- To buy or try and buy alcohol
- For someone else to buy (or try to buy) alcohol for you
- For you to drink in licenced premises such as pubs and restaurants
If you are 16 or 17 and you are with an adult you can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal.
Alcohol can make people do silly things they might not do when they are sober. Alcohol affects our brains so we make decisions we might not make normally. This puts you at all sorts of risks such as being a victim of a crime, committing a crime, doing something where you might be injured or saying things which get you into trouble!
When you mix alcohol and drugs, the dangers to your safety and to your health increase. Alcohol is a depressant which means it slows your brain and your body down. If you mix this with a drug such as cocaine which is a stimulant that speeds up your body then the combination makes your body need to work twice as hard, as your brain is getting mixed signals. This puts your brain and other organs at risk.
If you mix alcohol with other depressant drugs (ones which slow your body down) it can lead to becoming more drunk more quickly leading to feeling or being sick, passing out or making some of those silly decisions we mentioned earlier
Mixing alcohol and sex can also be risky. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions which leads to making different choices to those you would make sober. This leads to a higher level of unprotected sex, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) and unplanned pregnancies. Alcohol can also lead to memory loss and not being fully aware of your actions. This can lead to worries around consent. If someone is so drunk they cannot make a proper decision about sex, then they CANNOT give consent. If you have sex with someone who cannot fully consent you are committing crime.
Drinking alcohol while pregnant puts the unborn child at risk. The advice from NHS is that it is best to not drink at all during pregnancy. Alcohol can affect the baby’s development before and after birth. Alcohol also increases the chances of miscarriage and still birth.
If you are affected by any of this, please get in touch and speak to The Corner staff. We have further information resources on consent and relationships in the Sexual Health section of our website which you can visit here.