Experimenting with drugs and alcohol is a rite of passage for many, but the health effects are no party.
Trying to find an Australian adult who has never used drugs to relax, stay awake or enhance the fun of a party would be no easy task. Whether it’s alcohol, tobacco or a recreational drug, what may have started out as a harmless lark can easily create problems ranging from psychological dependence to sudden death.
Here, we look at some of the health effects of drug and alcohol use and how to prevent them.
There’s no doubt about it, we’re a nation of drinkers and while most of us wouldn’t see alcohol as a drug, it is definitely an addictive substance that can lead to trouble in both the short and long term.
The latest government guidelines tell us we should all be consuming no more than two standard drinks on any day, and never more than four if we want to avoid alcohol-related injury or disease. “Drinking within these guidelines reduces the risk of long-term damage including cancer, liver disease and brain damage,” says Caroline Salom from Drug ARM Australasia.
What it does: Alcohol is a depressant. It makes you feel relaxed, lowers your inhibitions and slows reflexes and the ability to concentrate. There is some evidence that moderate drinking – one drink a day – may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes and gallstones. (more…)