Alcohol Awareness
Risky Business: The Gamble

Alcohol is a gamble. The more you drink, the higher the stakes are.

Have you ever noticed the more you drink, the better you feel about yourself? You might feel confident and free, but in reality you are a mess. When you drink, you have to take the good with the bad.

When you drink, you have to accept that:
Alcohol might make you lose your inhibitions
That might put you in a bad position, where your safety is at risk with unplanned sex,
pregnancy, drugs.

Drinking might make you feel more confident
You might feel braver than normal, making you vulnerable to dangers like being beaten, raped or robbed, especially if you are alone at night.

Alcohol makes you feel good and happy
The good feeling you get from alcohol will pass if you get sick. Alcohol is a poison and alcohol
poisoning is no joke. Big drinking sessions are potentially fatal if your blood alcohol level shuts down parts of your brain.

Drinking might allow you to escape your worries and stress
For the moment, but it could add to them by exposing you to hangovers, missed classes, falling grades, lack of cash, relationship problems and a greater feeling of lost control.
When you gamble with alcohol, it's not only yourself that you are putting at risk.

• Alcohol is often involved in accidents such as falls, drowning's, and house fires.

• Other people such as your friends, family, the police and hospitals may be affected.

• Lost inhibitions may make you do things you wouldn't normally do, like: pick fights with your friends, go with someone who you didn't want to, get talked into committing crimes or driving drunk, or saying things you didn't mean to say.
Long-term risks
Over time, alcohol can do pretty bad things to your body. Dependence on alcohol can be both physical and psychological.

• Physical dependence happens when your body becomes so used to coping with alcohol in its system that it suffers withdrawal when you are not drinking.

• Psychological dependence is when alcohol gets into your head and becomes the most important thing in your life. It's pretty sad.

Last Updated: January 11,2005

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Lethbridge, Alberta, T1K 3M4