Health Check header image

Basic facts 1

What is alcohol?

Alcohol is a drug that slows down your central nervous system. It affects your judgement, coordination, and the way you behave. Many factors influence how alcohol affects you:

  • Quantity—How much alcohol have you drunk? The more you drink, the more it affects you.

  • rate—How fast did you drink that alcohol? Did you drink a lot in a short period of time?

  • body weight—How much do you weigh? Alcohol usually affects smaller people more than bigger people.

  • gender—Are you male or female? A woman is usually affected more than a man by the same amount of alcohol.

  • food—Is your stomach full or empty? Food in your stomach slows down how long it takes your body to absorb the alcohol.

  • feelings—How do you feel? Your feelings can influence how alcohol affects you.

  • other drugs—Have you taken other drugs? If you have, the alcohol you drink may affect you more than you expect.


They’re all the same! 1 shot of liquor = 1 glass of wine = 1 beer.

line graphic
Previous Table of Contents Next
line graphic