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Alcohol

Hello I’m gonna make this short and sweet I like alcohol a lot And although I don’t drink too much as I’m only thirteen, I am worried that this might become a problem. I wanted to ask if it’s normal to feel this and if anyone else drinks from a rough day at school? Also, SAM, is there something I can drink or do instead that is less harmful?

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Sam

Hi there,

You might be worried about the amount of alcohol you drink, or how often you drink.

Sometimes, drinking is a way of trying to cope with stress, but there are healthier ways to help you manage when things are difficult. Drinking alcohol can harm you more the younger you are.

People drink alcohol for different reasons. Sometimes it’s to try to feel more confident, to relax or to block out painful emotions or memories. If you use alcohol to cope with things, you might start to rely on it and some people find they need more alcohol to have the same effect in the long term.

It’s often difficult to work out how drinking will affect you because your body’s reaction will depend on things like how much you drink, your body size and age. Remember, even small amounts of alcohol can affect your balance and your speech, as well as your breathing and heart rate.

You can’t buy alcohol in the UK until you’re 18, and one of the reasons for this is that alcohol can have a damaging and lasting effect on your health. This is especially true if you’re young and your body is still developing, as you may cause damage to organs such as your liver.

Drinking might stop you doing other, more helpful, things and it can have a negative effect on your general health as well, including your sleep patterns and your mood.

Some people feel like they can’t stop drinking and find it difficult to control how much they drink. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol, you can get advice and support from your GP.

It can help to think about the reasons you’re drinking so you can find other ways to cope. If you’re anxious about your school work or exams, you might find that relaxation and breathing exercises can help you feel calmer.

If you’re feeling stressed about friendship problems or bullying, then you could try talking to an adult you trust or a counsellor at Childline.

I hope this advice has helped.

Take care,

Sam

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