Alcohol is a widely used recreational drug. People drink to relax, celebrate and socialise. Used in moderation, alcohol is safe, but it's quite the opposite when it comes to binge drinking, alcoholism, drunk driving or drink spiking.

No matter how old you are and regardless of whether you drink alcohol or not, it's important to be aware of how alcohol affects people and learn ways to minimise the risks associated with drinking. Alcohol and drugs can mess with your judgement and make you make poor decisions that can have consequences ranging from embarrassing to dangerous, especially if you drink .


The legal drinking age in Jamaica is 18 years old. It is an offence to supply alcohol to anyone under 18yrs old. 


The Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol can enter your bloodstream very quickly. Unlike food, it doesn't require digestion and once consumed it can reach your brain within minutes.

People react differently to alcohol. This can be due to a number of reasons including:

  • The type of alcohol being consumed (amount, strength)
  • The person drinking (sex, age, body weight, state of mind)
  • The environment where drinking is taking place (time of day, being alone, being active)

A few drinks might make you feel more relaxed, but your ability to concentrate is also reduced and your reflexes will slow down, making you clumsier.

After a few more drinks, while you may have fewer inhibitions or feel more confident, you might also have less co-ordination, slurred speech and mood swings.

After even more drinks you may experience confusion, blurred vision, poor muscle control and poor judgement, causing you to get into arguments or fights, or to do something reckless or dangerous that leaves you seriously hurt or injured.

Keep on drinking and you'll start to feel nauseous and you may end up vomiting. The worst-case scenario is falling into a coma or dying.

And that's just the physical effects. Because alcohol can lower your inhibitions there's a very good chance that drinking too much alcohol could make you start an argument or a fight, or even make you say or do things that really upset or offend your friends.

Sometimes even the simple fact of being in an environment where lots of alcohol is being drunk can put you at risk of getting attacked - like getting involved in a fight you didn't start, or even being sexually assaulted.


Alcohol Abuse Among Jamaican Secondary School Students

The National Council on Drug Abuse conducted the National Secondary School Survey in 2014, towards finding out more about the patterns of drug use among Jamaica's secondary school students. Check out the findings in the video below.