Is drink sneaking up on you?

The everyday stresses and strains of life, not to mention to upheaval caused by the Coronavirus pandemic have led to many of us drinking more without noticing. If you’re worried that you’re drinking too much and you would like to cut down, there is lots of support available to help you.

Where to start

Take the Alcohol Test on the DrinkCoach website. This free, confidential test takes two minutes and will help you find out how much you are really drinking and what impact it could be having on your health and wellbeing.

The web pages below will guide you to find the approach that’s right for you. When you are ready you will have all the tools and support you need:

Low-risk weekly alcohol guidelines

We’re supposed to be keeping an eye on how much we drink, but how many of us really know what the low-risk weekly alcohol guidelines are?

If you drink most weeks, sticking to the following guidelines can lower the risk of harming your health:

  • Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week.
  • Spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.
  • If you're pregnant, the safest option is not to drink at all.

If you want to cut down how much you’re drinking, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.

Benefits of reducing your alcohol intake

Many people who reduce their alcohol intake notice benefits, which can include these below:

Short term benefits:

  • Feeling better in the mornings
  • Being less tired and more energetic
  • Better-looking skin
  • Saving some money

Long term benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower risk of stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer and liver disease
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Better mood, memory and quality of sleep
  • Help with weight management

So, what is a unit?

There is one unit of alcohol in each of these:

  • half pint of regular beer, lager or cider
  • 1 very small glass of wine (9%) 125ml
  • 1 single measure of spirit
  • 1 small glass of sherry
  • 1 single measure of aperitifs.

Watch this short film which explains what a unit of alcohol is:

Video transcript:

Did you know, it's recommended that we shouldn't drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week? That's the equivalent to 6 glasses of wine (175ml per glass) or 6 pints of beer (4% beer/larger) or 14 single shots of spirit (25ml per shot) or 6 ice creams (954 calories).

Further information

See the Better Health website for further tips and tools to help you cut down.

Your Wellbeing hub