Risks: drinking and smoking

Alcohol is one of the strongest mood-changing drugs in use today and is a big problem in the UK. Everyone knows something about alcohol and, as it is a legal drug, it can seem as if it’s ok.

But it’s definitely not safe to drink too much or too often – the potentially lasting damage to our brains, mental abilities and lifelong impairment is well-documented. There are also various tv and radio documentaries (such as this one) on the devastating effects on people’s lives, their families, communities and the police and NHS services struggling with alcohol-fuelled behaviours. The multitude of Alcoholics Anonymous or similar meetings around the country bear testament to the misery of addiction.

Smoking tobacco can give you a calm and energised feeling soon after, but you are inhaling thousands of poisonous chemicals. The main ingredient is nicotine which makes smoking tobacco one of the most addictive drugs around – some research claims it is even more addictive than heroin.

  • Drinkaware.co.uk has further information about teenage drinking here.
  • If you are affected by someone in your life who drinks too much, have a look at this helpful site.
  • There is a wealth of information on health effects of smoking, advice and further links on sites like BBC Radio 1’s advice page here and the NHS guide to quitting smoking here.