How does alcohol affect you?Many ancient civilisations independently discovered alcohol. It can be made by fermenting any sugary or starchy food such as grains, honey or fruit juice. Mead, an alcoholic drink made from honey, has been around since 8000 BC. Small amounts of alcohol make you relax, increase your appetite and relieve anxiety. It is thought to work by exaggerating the actions of some neurotransmitters in the brain.
Why can alcohol be dangerous?
There are an estimated 9000 alcohol-related deaths each year in the UK. Although small amounts of alcohol are harmless and may even help prevent heart disease, large amounts are harmful. Alcohol is also addictive. Withdrawal symptoms (which can be fatal) include trembling, headaches, anxiety and nausea. Withdrawing alcoholics can experience confusion, hallucinations and fever – the DTs, or delirium tremens.