If you drink more than the recommended daily limits of alcohol your health can suffer. You could end up with liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack and certain cancers.

What limits do the government recommend for alcohol?

The government recommend to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level:

  • men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis,
  • spread your drinking over 3 or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week, and
  • try to have several drink-free days each week, especially if you want to cut down.

Medication and alcohol

Some medications for mental health conditions can interact with alcohol. It may be recommended that you avoid alcohol or limit your intake. You could find this out by checking the information leaflet that your medication comes with.

Cutting down on alcohol

If you want to cut down on your alcohol intake, you could try:

  •  Letting your friends and family know so that they can support you
  •  Taking it a day at a time
  •  Choosing smaller sizes of drinks – for example have a small glass of wine instead of a large one
  •  Choosing alcoholic drinks that are lower in strength (you can check this on the bottle or can)
  •   Drinking a non-alcoholic drink in between alcoholic drinks

What is a unit of alcohol?

1 unit

A single 25ml shot of spirits

(e.g. vodka, rum, gin).

1.5 units

A small glass of wine (125ml).

2 units

A pint of lower strength beer, lager or cider.

2.1 units

A standard glass of wine (175ml).

3 units

A large glass of wine (250ml).

Useful contacts

Drinkline - the National Alcohol Helpline

0800 917 8282 - open 24 hours a day

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