Drug information

Drug information

Alcohol

Definition:

Alcohol is a depressant drug which usually comes in liquid form. Alcohol usually refers to drinks such as wine, beer and spirits, which all contain the ingredient ethyl alcohol.

beer-932943_1920As a depressant drug, alcohol slows down the body’s functions.

In Australia alcohol is legal for people aged 18 and over. If you are under 18, the safest option is to not consume alcohol.

Other nicknames for alcohol include: liquor, booze, grog, piss, drinks, bevs, cold ones.

Effects:

The list of effects on this website are not definitive or exhaustive. 

Consuming alcohol can cause a state what is referred to as drunkenness.

The short-term/immediate effects of alcohol can include:

  • changes in mood and emotion
  • varying levels of consciousness
  • unconsciousness
  • feelings of relaxation or lethargy
  • acting out of character, doing things you might not normally do or may regret
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • memory loss
  • increase in risk taking behaviour
  • slower reactions
  • in some cases, death

Due to its intoxicating and mind altering effects, alcohol can often lead to accidents, injuries, diseases, and/or family and relationship breakdown.

Some of the long term effects of regular alcohol consumption can include:

  • anxiety, depression or other mental health issues
  • high blood pressure
  • disease, including but not limited to; liver disease, cancer and heart disease
  • memory loss
  • fertility issues
  • dependence

Consumption of alcohol can also lead to what is referred to as a hangover, which is usually experienced the day after consuming alcohol.

The effects of a hangover can include:

  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • restlessness
  • trouble sleeping

Drug use can have a range of social consequences and can have impact not only on an individual, but also their relationships and their work or study. Drug use can cause financial issues, family problems and can also have legal consequences.

If you are concerned about your own or another person’s drug use we encourage you to seek professional help and assistance.

There are always risks associated with drug use. No use at all is the safest option.

Alcohol bottles

Standard Drinks

A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol.

Different types of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, spirits) contain a different amount of pure alcohol, meaning their ‘strength’ is different.

According to the Australian Government’s Alcohol and Standard Drinks Guidelines, the below measurements show the number of standard drinks in common volumes of alcoholic beverages.

30ml of spirits = 1 standard drink

100ml of red wine = 1 standard drink

100ml of white wine = 0.9 standard drinks

150ml of champagne = 1.4 standard drinks

60ml of fortified wine (port) = 0.8 standard drinks

285ml (midi or pot) of full-strength beer = 1.1 standard drinks

285ml (midi or pot) of mid-strength beer = 0.8 standard drinks

285ml (midi or pot) of low-strength beer = 0.6 standard drinks

Ready to drink spirits in Australia can range between 1 to 3.6 standard drinks per serving, dependent on the size of the bottle/can and the alcohol volume within the beverage.

These measurements are a guide only.

In Australia, the packaging on all alcoholic beverages must feature a the number of standard drinks in that bottle/can/cask. Always check the label to see how many standard drinks are in a beverage.

Further information and support:

If you suspect alcohol poisoning call triple zero (000) immediately.

In an emergency or crisis situation always call triple zero (000) for police, fire and ambulance and follow instructions.

  • Visit the Australian Government’s Alcohol website for more information about alcohol, standard drinks, campaigns, policy and support services and the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol
  • Visit the Your Room website for more information about alcohol effects, dependence, drink spiking, risks, support services and other information
  • Visit the World Health Organisation website for alcohol facts and alcohol related-harm
  • Visit the Youth Solutions Take it Easy campaign page for information about safer partying practices, including tips on how to keep safe when drinking alcohol
  • Visit our Youth Solutions Get Help page for the details of different support services available