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In general

In the West for decades the most popular of all drugs has been alcohol. The chemical name for alcohol is ethanol (C2H5OH). Alcohol is produced using fermentation and it is a narcotic (downer). The natural fermentation stops at about fifteen percent alcohol (beer and wine). By heating up or cooling down low alcohol beverages higher percentages (spirits) are reached. Apart from beer, wine, spirits and liquors there are mixed drinks and shooters (20% alcohol).

Physical effects

Lower heart rate, shortness of breath, increased blood pressure, dilated blood vessels and pupils, impaired reactions, red complexion.

Psychological effects

More self confident, state of euphoria, cheerful, uninhibited, loss of concentration, strong emotions.

Sex work

Alcohol is a narcotic, so sexual inhibitions vanish. If consumed moderately your sex drive increases. Alcohol consumption loosens you up. There is also a risk of hazardous behaviour and unsafe sex. The testosterone level lowers with alcohol consumption. Therefore it can cause erection problems and prevent orgasm. With excessive consumption your sex drive diminishes.


Usually alcohol and drugs aren’t a happy combination. Smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol make you feel sick. A combination of cocaine and alcohol release a different substance: coca ethylene. 1 + 1 = 3. This substance has similar effects as cocaine, but it harms the liver. This means extra body stress which may be risky. It means an extra impact on the heart and blood vessels. The degradation of toxic substances in the liver is slowed down as there are three toxic substances to be degraded. The effect of the cocaine is that you feel less drunk or not drunk at all. As a result of this delusion you tend to go on drinking which causes a triple hangover.

Alcohol in combination with other downers is risky. You increase the chance of an overdose, heart failure, respiratory problems and loss of consciousness. The combination of alcohol and other uppers may result in aggressive behaviour and recklessness.

Short-term risks

Nausea, vomiting, hangover, alcohol poisoning, black-outs, bad breath, weight gain, aggressive behaviour.

Long-term risks

Memory loss, a build-up of fat in the liver, liver diseases, weight loss, pancreatitis, psychosis, brain damage, depression, physical neglect and damage of the digestive system (e.g. cancer of the bowel or stomach) or other gastric problems. 

Safe(r) use

  • Alternate alcohol with a glass of water to prevent dehydration and to reduce the hangover effects.
  • Take a good rest before and after drinking alcohol and eat varied and healthy food. Take extra vitamin B1 to be on the safe side.
  • A combination of alcohol and other drugs often cause problems. Avoid taking alcohol together with other drugs, sedatives or medication.
  • Alcohol has aphrodisiac effects and reduces inhibitions which may make you push your limits. When having sex protect yourself against HIV and STDs by using condoms and sufficient lubricant.

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An European network of 26 organisations in 25 EU countries, which works with and for sex workers since 1993, and advocates for sex workers' rights.

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"Before I start working and using I always eat something. That way I have more energy and I can my focus."