Because alcohol plays such an integral role in many peoples social lives, the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption are often forgotten or ignored. This is important because the UK is one of the few European countries where alcohol consumption has risen in the last 50 years.
Is there a safe level of alcohol consumption?
Yes, NHS guidance on alcohol consumption is:
Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units per day.
Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units per day.
You should try to have at least two alcohol-free days every week, especially if you drink at twice the recommended levels.
What consequences can excessive alcohol consumption have?
Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes, and is also a risk factor for cancers of the mouth, gullet (oesophagus), breast, liver, and bowel and men who drink a lot of may affect the quality and quantity of their sperm. The NHS provides specific information on monitoring alcohol levels here
Alcohol is also a depressant slowing the function of the central nervous system and altering a person’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing. There is also a strong link between excessive alcohol consumption and depression and anxiety. For more information click here
Alcohol is an often ignored source of excess calories, contributing towards obesity, for example 250mls of red wine contains 195 calories, equal to one slice of sponge cake. For more information click here
To enjoy a drink whilst staying within safe levels try:
- Having a smaller drink such as a smaller bottle of beer over a can or a smaller glass of wine rather than a large one.
- Wine glasses today are bigger than ever and can easily hold a third of a bottle.
- Switching to a lower-strength drink – go for one with lower alcohol content (Compare the %ABV).
- Having a drink with a mixer such as diet coke or tonic water – Adding a mixer will make your drink last longer.
- Making every other drink non-alcoholic – Take a break between drinking and have a soft drink or glass of water.
For more information click here
iHear is a drug and alcohol service for Hounslow residents. Visit their website here
You can find out more about them by vising the London Borough of Hounslow web pages here