Drugs and Alcohol
Alcohol is the most commonly and widely used drug in Australia. A person must be 18 to buy alcohol, receive or have alcohol on them or drink in a hotel or public place.
Drinking a little amount may not be harmful for most people but having a lot of alcohol regularly is very expensive and can cause health, personal and social problems. If you are old enough and choose to drink then moderation is the way to go.
If you or someone you care about has an alcohol problem, seek help, see SkillBot Drug & Alcohol problems below.
The legal limit for drinking and driving is .05 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) except for L-plate and P-plate drivers who cannot drink at all and must have Zero BAC.
Drugs are chemicals that alter the brain and can change the way a person thinks, feels and acts. There are three main types of drugs which affect the brain and nervous system in different ways; they are depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens.
- Depressants can include alcohol, tranquilisers (valium, serapax), opiates (heroin) and fumes from common chemicals (petrol).
- Stimulants can include caffeine (coffee, tea, coke, energy drinks), nicotine (cigarettes), amphetamines (speed, ice), cocaine and ecstasy.
- Hallucinogens can include LSD (acid trips), magic mushrooms, large amounts of marijuana and ecstasy.
People use drugs to relax, for enjoyment, to be part of a group, out of curiosity or to avoid physical and/or emotional pain and problems.
If you or someone you care about has a drug problem, seek help, see SkillBot Drug & Alcohol problems below.
Legal / illegal drugs
The drugs that are legal are alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, prescription and over the counter medicines.
Some of the drugs that are illegal are marijuana, speed, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. Illegal drugs are often made in backyards where there is no guarantee it is made properly and can have all sorts of dangerous chemicals in it.
People can become dependent or addicted to both legal and illegal drugs. How the drug feels is different from person to person and the affect depends on the person’s size, weight and health.
Types of drug use
- Experimental use – a person tries a drug once or twice out of curiosity.
- Recreational use – a person chooses to use a drug for enjoyment to enhance a mood or social occasion.
- Situational use – a drug is used to cope with the stress of particular situations.
- Intensive use or Bingeing – a person takes a lot of drugs over a short period of time or a person uses regularly over a number of days and weeks.
- Dependant use – a person becomes addicted to the drug and uses it to feel normal or to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
An overdose is when the amount of drug taken is greater than the body can handle or when there is a mix of different drugs together. Remember, even an experimental drug user can over dose. An overdose can result in death.
If you are with someone and you suspect they are overdosing call 000 immediately. Don’t be afraid to call for help.
Drug and Alcohol problems
If a person becomes dependant or addicted to drugs or alcohol it can create many problems in their life and the loss of personal relationships. There are services around that can help and support people to kick the habit, get straight and get their life back on track.
If you or someone you care about has a drug or alcohol problem, talk to someone. Local community health centres or local hospitals often have a drug and alcohol service but if they don’t they will be able to refer you to the available services locally. You could also go to your doctor or call Australian Drug Foundation Get help line on 1300 858 584.
Drug & Alcohol - More info - links
For services and help try these links