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Alcohol

Know Your Limits header

To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, it's advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. It's best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days, rather than binge drinking over a short period of time.

What does 14 units look like?

6 pints of beer (4% strength)

6 beers

or 6 glasses of wine (13% strength, 175ml)

6 wines

or 14 single shots of spirit (40% strength)

14 shots

Risks of alcohol misuse

Short term

  • accidents resulting in injury, causing death in some cases
  • violent behaviour and being a victim of violence
  • loss of personal possessions like wallets, keys or phone
  • unprotected sex, potentially leading to STIs or pregnancy
  • alcohol poisoning – leading to vomiting, fits and unconsciousness

Long term

  • heart disease & stroke
  • liver disease
  • certain types of cancer
  • mental health issues
  • sexual and fertility problems
  • social problems such as unemployment, domestic abuse and homelessness

Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to minimise risks to your baby.

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby – known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

If you’re worried about how much you have been drinking whilst pregnant, talk to your doctor or midwife.

Getting help

If you’re concerned about your drinking or someone else’s, there are services available to help.

  • You can visit your GP who will make an assessment, or you can directly contact the Drug and Alcohol Team.
  • Motiv8 is a local charity that specialises in counselling and support for addictive behaviours.
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