Alcohol is Legal

Alcohol, just like drugs, changes the way you feel and act when you use it. This is why alcohol is often called a legal drug. Alcoholic drinks include beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and shots.

When you drink alcohol, it's absorbed into your bloodstream which changes the way you feel. It slows down the way your body works; this is why it’s called a ‘depressant’. This is why people say alcohol relaxes you. Alcohol can make your speech slurred (or slow), your movements wobbly and you react to things much slower.

If you keep drinking and the amount of alcohol in your body gets too high it can be dangerous. Your breathing system slows down and oxygen can no longer reach your brain. This can cause a coma (which is where you pass out and can’t wake up). Some people can even die.

Drinking also interferes with your mind and good judgement.

When you drink alcohol, you are more likely to make bad choices and do things that you will regret or not even remember. People can have unprotected sex, start fights or become violent when they drink. Alcohol also makes you lose coordination and control; which is why drinking and driving is against the law.

In South Africa, the law says you should only drink if you are 18 years and older because a young person’s body and brain cannot cope with alcohol in the same way as an adult’s can. A young person’s brain is still developing so if you drink too much alcohol it can damage your brain. You are also putting yourself at risk of alcohol addiction, which can sometimes be rehabilitated but has no cure.

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B-Wise User Anonymous 15 February 2017 18:42

I UNDERSTAND THAT AT THE AGE OF 18 YOU CAN DRINK ALCOHOL.I FEEL THEY ARE STILL YOUNG AT LEAST AGE RESTRICTION MUST SAY 21. 18 SOME ARE STILL IN SCHOOL, SOME CANT EVEN MAKE TAKE DECISIONS ON THEIR OWN AND SOME ARE STILL MAKING ALCOHOL RESCUE TO THEIR OWN PROBLEMS.

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 12:59

Hi Tumie, thank you for your feedback