1) Alcohol is drunk by 90% of adults in England and Wales – TRUE
Most people in this country drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol is a normal thing to do. It is part of life for most people. It can be enjoyable. It helps us to be sociable. We use it to celebrate. Most people who drink do not have any problems. However, a number of us may get into problems from drinking too much.
2) Alcohol is not a drug – FALSE
Alcohol is a drug and can affect your body in a number of ways. Because alcohol is legal some people think it is not a drug.
3) Alcohol is a stimulant – FALSE
Alcohol is not a stimulant. It is the opposite. It is a depressant. This means that it can slow down your reactions and affect your ability to think clearly, so driving is not a good idea when you have had a drink and there are limits to the amount of alcohol you can drink if driving. Some people think it is a stimulant because it seems to make you feel happy at first. What is really happening is that alcohol has an effect on your brain, so it makes you feel less in control.
4) Most people develop problems with alcohol – FALSE
Most people use alcohol sensibly. They do not have any problems with alcohol. But a number of us drink in harmful ways at different times. For some this can damage their health, it can also put other people at risk of harm.
5) Drinking a small amount daily can be good for your health – TRUE
Research has shown that drinking a small amount of alcohol each day can possibly be good for your health in reducing risks of coronary heart disease and stroke, but only for a very small select group of people i.e. men over 40 and post-menopausal women.
6) Drinking alcohol is legal and so it is safe – FALSE
Because alcohol is a legal drug you may forget that the consequences of drinking too much can be dangerous. If you drink the suggested number of units it can be enjoyed. Those people who go over the suggested level increase the risks to their health.
7) Alcohol can be drunk in the home after the age of five but can only be bought after 18 – TRUE
Alcohol cannot be given to a child under five, except by a doctor. In the home, a child over five can drink alcohol. Children over the age of 16 can drink alcohol with food in a restaurant. It is illegal for a person to buy alcohol until the age of 18.
8) Alcohol is responsible for the majority of violent crimes – FALSE
Alcohol does not cause crime — people do. Alcohol is also not responsible for the majority of violent crimes. Alcohol is related to, and a factor in, a lot of criminal activity. For example, 46% of violent crimes are thought to be carried out by people who have been drinking alcohol – 39% for domestic abuse and 58% of stranger violence.
9) Alcohol is linked to over 40,000 deaths a year in England & Wales – TRUE
Alcohol is linked to up to 40,000 deaths a year. 22,000 deaths each year are directly linked to alcohol consumption. The World Health Organisation says alcohol is the third highest risk to health.
10) Binge drinking is safer than drinking a little alcohol – FALSE
There is no correct way of stating what binge drinking is but a common definition is where you drink over twice the suggested daily number of units. What is clear is that if you drink a lot in one go, over a short period of time, you are more likely to harm yourself and put yourself and others in danger.