Your brain relies on a balance of chemicals and processes. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can disrupt this balance, affecting your thoughts, feelings and actions – and sometimes your long-term mental health.

For example, the relaxed feeling you may experience after having a drink is due to the chemical changes alcohol has caused in your brain. A drink can make you feel more relaxed and might experience positive mood changes. This is because alcohol reduces our inhibitions – leading us to feel more confident.

These affects can quickly change – and the more alcohol is consumed, the more likely it becomes that a negative emotional response such as the following could take over:

• Heavy drinking disrupts the quality of your sleep – a key factor in positive wellbeing

• Drinking can affect relationships with your partner, family and friends

• Drinking heavily can impact on your behaviour and has been linked to aggression

• Alcohol affects mood and can lead you to feel angry, anxious or depressed

• In the long-term, alcohol misuse can also cause memory loss – which is why you can wake up with a ‘blank’ about what you said or did.

Do you think you might be drinking too much? Drinkaware have created an easy to use alcohol self-assessment tool to help identify harmful drinking. Try out the tool here: Click Here.