One of the most commonly used drugs in Victoria and Australia, alcohol is also associated with the highest levels of individual and community harms.


Alcohol is a liquid produced by fermentation. The term alcohol originally referred to the primary substance ethanol which is the predominant alcohol in alcoholic beverages. It is classed as a depressant drug and is legal for people over 18 to drink.


Booze, grog, piss, goon, bevvies, froffy, sauce, hooch, moonshine, vino


42.5 per cent of 12-17 years-olds have had a full serve of alcohol and 86.3 per cent of young people have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months (National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2013). According to the recent Census of young people in AOD treatment in Victoria, 63 per cent of young people in treatment had used alcohol in the past 4 weeks and 19 per cent had used it daily. 


Ethanol has no colour and can be lethal if consumed. It is found in drinking alcohol in a diluted form. This is why we have various percentages of alcohol in spirits, wine, beer and cider. 


Due to laws in some parts of Australia alcohol cannot be consumed in some public places.


Relaxation, greater sociability, reduced concentration, confusion, poor muscle control, vomiting, loss of inhibition. Felt within five minutes; peaks between 30-90 minutes. The liver processes approximately one standard drink per hour.


Vomiting, seizures, irregular or shallow breathing, blue or pale skin, loss of consciousness.
An ambulance should be called if any of these symptoms occur.


Other depressants such as cannabis and heroin, which increase the effects and likelihood of overdose.


Didn’t find what you're looking for? Check out the YouthAOD toolbox for further in-depth information.


Encourage a young person to:

  • stick to one type of alcohol when they are drinking.
  • not mix alcohol with other drugs, including prescription medication.
  • space drinks out with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • avoid drinking at all if they are under 15.
  • monitor how much they drink – keep bottle tops or ring pulls so they can check how many they have had. Drinkaware have a free track and calculate app to keep drinking in check.
  • See more Universal Harm Reduction Strategies

Didn’t find what you're looking for? Check out the YouthAOD toolbox for further in-depth information.