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How Drugs Work

Drugs and the Law

UK Laws

Drug Information

Alcohol
Amphetamines
Cannabis
Cocaine
Codeine
Coffee
Cyclizine
DF118
Diconal
Ecstasy
Ephedrine
GHB
Heroin
Ketamine
Khat
LSD
Methadone
Minor tranquilisers
Morphine
Nicotine
Nitrites
Opiates
Opioids
Opium
Palfium
PCP
Pethedine
Psilocybe
Solvents
Steroids
Temazepam
Temgesic



Alcohol

Ale, beer, booze, bevvy, drink, brandy, champagne, cider, rum, spirits, vodka, whiskey, wine, etc.

Alcoholic Drinks

Generic name

Alcohol.

Scientific names

Ethanol, ethyl alcohol.

Action

Central nervous system depressant, sedative.

Drug form

Liquid of varying strength, from 2.8% (mild beer) to 40% (spirits).

Medical use

Skin cleanser.

Drug effects

Desired: mild intoxication, sociability.
Side effects: dehydration, loss of coordination, slurred speech, disinhibition, visual disturbance, confusion.

Risks

Short-term:

Tolerance, overdose, accidents (drunk driving). If used during pregnancy it could damage the foetus (foetal alcohol syndrome).

Long-term:

Dependence, damage to brain, heart, liver, stomach.

Legal status

Illegal to use under 5 years of age, illegal to purchase under 18 years of age, illegal to sell between the hours of 11pm and 11am, without a special licence. Illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence.

How is it taken?

By mouth.

Paraphernalia

Pumps, bottles, glasses.

Images

Alcoholic drinks

Where does it come from?

Alcoholic drinks are produced in distilleries and breweries throughout Britain and the world. It is estimated that there are over 170,000 licensed outlets such as public houses, bars, and shops in the UK alone.

Helping services

Hospital based in-patient detoxification units and out-patient dependence units. There are also community based Councils on Alcohol, Community Alcohol Teams and self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.