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effects of alcohol discussed by female counsellor
What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a depressant. Alcohol is a legal drug that can be bought by adults over the age of 18.

Information about Alcohol:

Alcohol affects the way you think, feel and behave.

Alcohol is a very strong drug and it can have toxic effects. Large quantities can even be poisonous.

Beer, wine, spirits, liqueur, port, sherry and home brew all contain different amounts of alcohol.

The more alcohol a drink contains, the stronger it will be.

How Alcohol Works

  • When you drink alcohol it goes into your bloodstream, it circulates around your body and some goes to your brain.
  • Alcohol slows down your brain and affects the way it carries messages.
  • It also affects how your brain talks to other parts of your body.
  • At first you may feel relaxed and happy.
  • At the same time your liver is working really hard to break down the alcohol and clear any toxins out of your body.
  • A healthy liver can break down about one standard drink per hour.
  • If you are drinking faster than your body can get rid of alcohol, you will get increasingly drunk and the alcohol may begin to cause some damage.

What is a Standard Drink?

  • If you drink, it is important to keep track of how much alcohol you are drinking.
  • A standard drink measures the amount of pure alcohol in a drink, not the amount of liquid.
  • One standard drink contains about 10 grams of pure alcohol.
  • Each of these drinks in the image above is a standard drink, they all contain about 10 grams of pure alcohol.
  • Alcoholic drinks contain different amounts of alcohol.
  • The standard drinks symbol shows approximately how much alcohol each type of drink contains.
  • Different brands can contain different amounts so it is always a good idea to check the label.
More information on Alcohol

Tips of reducing harm, what is harmful drinking and the problems with being drunk or intoxicated.

Reducing Harm

  • You should not drink alcohol when you are alone, when you are planning to drive, or operate machinery. Alcohol will affect your judgement and your behaviour, and you may put yourself and other people at risk.
  • Eat before drinking - a proper meal not just snack food.
  • Avoid salty foods - you will drink more.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Start with a non-alcoholic drink and make every other drink a non-alcoholic drink.
  • Drink slowly, pace yourself, space your drinks and put your glass or can down between sips.
  • Drink light beers or shandies, half measures of spirits and mix wine with soda and lots of ice.
  • Count your drinks, use a standard glass and don't let people top up your glass.
  • Decide your limit and refuse drinks when you have reached your limit.
  • Make sure someone who is not drinking is looking after the kids.
  • Stay busy doing other things like dancing, singing, yarning and playing pool.
  • Drink in a safe place and have a plan to get home safely.
  • Do not drive and do not get in a car with someone who has been drinking.
  • Plan to spend more time with family and friends who do not drink.

What is Harmful Drinking?

Harmful drinking is when you have MORE than the recommended daily amount.

  • Harmful drinking can damage your health and can lead to alcohol poisoning.  
  • Harmful drinking is dangerous because there is an increased risk that you will get drunk or intoxicated.

Problems of being drunk or intoxicated

Being drunk or intoxicated causes problems for you and mob around you.

  • When you are drunk or intoxicated you may say things you would not normally say or do things that you would not normally do.
  • Too much alcohol can affect your mind and make you feel really down or blue.
  • Alcohol can affect your judgement and you are more likely to do things like start fights, have unsafe sex, drive drunk and break the law.
  • When you are drunk you cannot look after yourself, your family, or your children properly, and you might neglect them or put them at risk.


Our inner spirit is the centre of our being and emotions.
When our inner spirit feels strong our mind feels strong.
When our spirit feels tangled our mind feels tangled.
Strong Inner Spirit is what keeps people healthy and keeps them connected together.
Strong Inner Spirit keeps our family strong, our community strong and our country alive.

Getting Help

If you are thinking about reducing your alcohol use you might like some help or information.

Or if you are worried about somebody and how their alcohol use is affecting you and your family, perhaps you would like some assistance.

It may not be easy reducing your alcohol use but your friends, family and other people in your community can support you to make changes.

If you would like further information, please head to our services and support page: