What is alcohol?


Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in Canada.  Alcohol is a “depressant” drug. That means it slows down the parts of your brain that affect your thinking and behaviour, as well as your breathing and heart rate.  Alcohol affects every person differently depending any number of factors, such as, your age, gender, body weight, alcohol sensitivity, the type and amount of food in your stomach, how much and how often you drink alcohol, whether you are taking any other drugs (illicit, prescription, over-the-counter or herbal), what environment you are in and, whether you are stressed, depressed or anxious prior to drinking.  Alcohol generally slows down your thinking, movement and reflexes, increasing risk of injury and affecting your decision making ability.


    •    blackouts
    •    slurred speech
    •    alcohol poisoning
    •    slower reflexes and thinking
    •    brain and nerve damage
    •    high blood pressure and strokes
    •    liver disease
    •    damage to the fetus, for pregnant women
    •    diseases of the stomach, digestive system and pancreas
    •    breast cancer and throat cancer
    •    low sex hormone levels
    •    alcohol dependence

Peterborough specific info:

    •    Adult drinkers in Peterborough engage in heavy drinking at rates 9.1% higher than the provincial             average (males 11.4% higher; female 7.5% higher).

    •    41.5% of Peterborough youth report drinking alcohol underage, which is 2% higher than for Ontario.  

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