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Alcohol and You

Find out how risky your drinking is

DontBottleItUp is the free, quick and confidential test to find out how risky your drinking is, get personalised advice online and find out where you can get support locally.

TAKE THE ALCOHOL TEST

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How much is too much?

The UK government advises that men and women should not regularly drink more than fourteen units of alcohol per week, and have several alcohol-free days a week.

78% of people in the UK drink within the recommended limits.

If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you shouldn’t drink alcohol at all. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely, so you should never drink and drive.

 

Calendar to show spreading out units of alcohol over the week.

BINGE DRINKING

Anytime you drink six or more units of alcohol in a single day this is actually ‘binge drinking’ – so drinking two or more large glasses of wine or pints of higher strength (5%) beer in an evening is classed as binge drinking. One way to avoid this is to spread out your units over the week.

Health effects

Many of us may not realise it, but drinking above the recommended limits can lead to the following problems:

 

In the short-term:

  • low energy
  • weight gain
  • memory loss
  • poor sleeping or insomnia
  • relationship issues
  • sexual difficulties
  • injuries

 

In the long-term:

  • several types of cancer
  • alcohol dependence
  • high blood pressure
  • liver disease
  • stroke

 

DEPENDENCE AND ADDICTION

Drinking at high risk levels is associated with reduced life expectancy, difficulties with relationships at home and at work, and deteriorating physical and mental health and general well-being.

Alcohol Dependence Syndrome affects 4% of adults in the UK.

If you’ve experienced any of the following alcohol addiction symptoms in the past twelve months, you may be alcohol dependent:

  • Increasing tolerance (requiring increasing amounts of alcohol to ‘get drunk’).
  • Compulsion (becoming aware of alcohol cravings – particularly when you wake up).
  • Withdrawal (experiencing physiological withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sweating, vomiting and nausea, rapid heart rate, anxiety and insomnia when drinking has ceased or reduced). Other symptoms can include agitation, seizures, disorientation and even hallucinations.
  • Using alcohol to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  • A relapse into problematic alcohol use after a period of abstinence (non-drinking).
  • Finding you are preoccupied with where the next drink will come from, and planning your day around alcohol.
  • Drinking in spite of negative consequences in your personal and professional life and your needs are almost entirely limited to those involving alcohol.

If you notice that you’re suffering from withdrawal symptoms when drinking less than you normally would, you should seek emergency healthcare at A&E immediately.

If you are alcohol dependent, then suddenly cutting down the amount you drink drastically is not safe. Ensure you get the right support plan agreed with a medical professional or alcohol specialist worker.

Find out whether you at risk of becoming alcohol dependent, or whether you may already be alcohol dependent, by taking our quick alcohol test.

 

TIPS FOR CUTTING DOWN

TIPS FOR CUTTING DOWN

Tips for cutting down alcohol consumption icon symbol of pencil

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