Is a drug, and the most widely used drug in the country. Although it is quite legal to drink alcohol, that doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful than other drugs.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down your body's responses in all kinds of ways.
What else is it called?
Booze, drink, Bevvy
What does it look like?
Liquids in various packaging in bottles and cans.
What is its legal status?
Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult in a pub.
It is against the law for anyone under 18 to buy alcohol in a pub, off-licence or supermarket or on-line.
It's also illegal for a person to buy alcohol for someone under 18 except where that person buys beer, wine or cider for someone aged 16 or 17 to be drunk with a table meal while accompanied by a person over 18.
The police have the power to stop a person and confiscate alcohol in a public place if they reasonably suspect the person to be under 18 years of age. Those under 18 who persistently drink or possess alcohol in a public places may be prosecuted.
Anyone over 18 can buy and drink alcohol legally in licensed premises in Britain. But, a lot of shops operate a scheme called Challenge 21 where if you look under 21 (or 25 in some places) and don’t have proof of your age they can refuse to sell you alcohol.
It is illegal for under-18s to buy it, or for licensed premises (e.g. pubs) to sell it to underage people.
How much does it cost?
Prices vary depending on what you drink and the quality, for instance a premium whisky or older bottle of wine is more expensive than a pint of beer.
Spirits usually contain a higher level of alcohol than wine or lager.
‘Alcopops’ and ready-to-drink ‘mixers’ may not seem to be strong drinks but they usually contain more alcohol by volume than beer or cider.
What equipment do people use to take it?
Alcohol comes in bottles and cans, no additional equipment is needed.
What about dependence/addiction?
Alcohol can be both physically and psychologically addictive. People addicted to alcohol can experience tremors when they try and stop drinking, and cutting out alcohol suddenly can actually be dangerous for alcoholics.