All alcoholic drinks contain ethanol. Drinking alcohol slows your reactions, makes you drowsy and prevents you from acting as you normally would. Is this a pleasant state of mind that makes you feel good?
In many cases, alcohol is used to achieve a feeling of well-being, but the effects are usually rather short-lived. One drink can make you feel great, but most of the time people continue to drink more and more to enhance that feeling, and subsequently lose control of their behaviour, which can lead to mishaps and trouble, neither of which is pleasant.
Remember that alcohol consumption is illegal for under-age people.
But if I am over 18 years old, then why should I decide to stop drinking anyway?
- Drinking alcohol slows down the central nervous system, which means a reduced ability to act and react.
- A single drink can make you feel good, but most of the time you drink more to enhance that sensation and can then lose control of your behaviour.
- It is harder for a young person’s body to cope with alcohol than it is for an adult. When a child or a young person consumes alcohol, they are more likely to feel drowsy and nauseous and to vomit.
- Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing problems, which can be prevented if you stay sober.
- Maintaining positive relations with family and school
By breaking agreements or breaking the law, you are jeopardising a good relationship with your parents. It could have negative consequences in later life. If you are discovered with alcohol on school premises or on an excursion, it will, as a rule, deprive you of the opportunity to continue your studies at the same school.
- Staying in good physical shape
Keeping away from alcohol helps you stay in better physical form and to exercise more. Alcohol also gives you a lot of unnecessary calories: 1g of pure alcohol provides 7.1 kcal of energy (1g of fat gives only a little more – 9 kcal). See also: Increased body weight.
- To prevent illness
Many years of scientific research shows that alcohol is a major contributor to more than 60 illnesses and health conditions. These include heart disease, cancer, mental disorders, digestive illnesses and many other ailments. Liver damage, for example, develops in as little as 10 years. If you start drinking alcohol at the age of 15, you can develop serious health problems by the time you are 25. In the case of some liver diseases, such as alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis, one in two people die within four years of developing the disease. See also: Health effects of alcohol.
Keep in mind that you are the only one who can decide how much alcohol you drink and that you should always stick to your decision!
Visit the alcohol information portal for young people to find answers to your questions.
Prepared by the youth information portal Teeviit based on source material from the National Institute for Health Development at https://noored.alkoinfo.ee/.
The National Institute for Health Development is a public research and development institution which conducts research on public health, disease prevention programmes and activities and promotes health.
This article was published in 2022.