One of the most commonly used drugs is alcohol and it is legal to buy and consume it in Ireland once you are 18 years of age or older.
Alcoholic drinks consist chiefly of water and ethanol (ethylalcohol) and each type of drink differs in strength and are measured as a percentage (%) per volume, the higher the percentage, the stronger the effects are. Mixing drinks does not change this but you can make yourself sick from mixing drinks as some alcohol has additives that do not mix well together.
It takes one hour for your body to break down every standard drink
Source: HSE 2010
In moderate amounts, alcohol can add to the fun of an occasion and help us feel relaxed and its probably fair to say that most of us are guilty of drinking too much at times. It is worth noting that even the casual couple of drinks after work or a few glasses of wine at home too often can push you above the low-risk level of alcohol consumption. This can impact on you physically and mentally. The good news is that you have the power to change your drinking habits through your lifestyle choices.
Understanding what you drink is a great start to making decisions about your alcohol consumption. According to the HSE, 3+ drinks daily put your health at risk. Spread moderate drinking throughout the week allowing for a minimum of two alcohol free days. Most of us know our bodies and recognise the stage where you loose control. Stay well below this limit. Order non-alcoholic drinks, minerals and/ or water between drinks – this could help reduce the hangover the next day.
Wondering how much you actually drink?
How much alcohol (how many units) there is in your drink can vary enormously depending on the size, strength and type of drink. One drink does not simply equal one unit, this is why it is important to be aware of the units you consume:
Source: HSE 2010
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