Opioids are a family of drugs that are used to relieve pain. Opioids are psychoactive substances. This means that they affect your mind, mood, and mental processes and can also induce euphoria, or the feeling of being “high.”, which may lead people to misuse or abuse them.
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The law sets a minimum age of 19 to use, buy, possess, and consume alcohol in Ontario. Even though alcohol is legal for adults 19 years of age and older, it is prohibited in schools, on school property, and at school-related activities.
Alcohol is a depressant drug, which can slow down the parts of the brain that affect thinking, behaviour, breathing, and heart rate. Like the body, the human brain is still developing throughout adolescence and early adulthood, generally until about 25 years of age.
Recent evidence shows teens are more susceptible to the intoxicating effects of alcohol. The earlier a youth starts drinking, the more likely they will experience alcohol-related harm later in life.
Some of the common reasons youth consume alcohol include:
- Peer pressure
- Social media influences
- To escape or self-medicate
- Boredom or curiosity
- For fun
- Lack of confidence
In 2017, slightly less than half (43%) of students in Ontario report drinking more than just a few sips of alcohol during the past year.
Provincial and federal laws regulate the manufacture, distribution, importation, advertising, possession and consumption of alcohol. In Ontario, it is illegal for anyone under 19 years of age to possess, consume or purchase alcohol.
Pure (ethyl) alcohol is a clear, colourless liquid. Alcohol is produced by fermenting or distilling various fruits, vegetables, or grains. Fermented beverages include beer and wine, which have a maximum alcohol content of about 15%.