Did you know that more than 40 people die every day as a result of alcohol-related issues in England and Wales?
Next week is Alcohol Awareness Week, organised by the charity Alcohol Concern, to promote greater understanding around the dangers of excessive drinking.
One of its key aims is to increase both identification and support for people affected by alcohol misuse.
Many of us enjoy a drink from time to time – but do you know the recommended limits that you shouldn’t exceed?
Many people think of binge drinkers as those who drink huge amounts on a regular basis.
However, drinking several glasses of wine in one evening, or exceeding your regular daily amount can have a bad affect on your health.
Men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol a day and women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day.
Sometimes it can be difficult to work out units as many places often serve larger measures of spirits (35ml) whereas a standard unit of a spirit is 25ml.
The strength of wine also varies, so check the bottle for information.
Visit drinkaware.co.uk to find out more about alcohol units and recommendations on intake.
It’s a common misconception that alcohol units can be ‘saved’ up for the weekend.
This is not the case and binge drinking is a very unhealthy way to consume alcohol.
Also, drinking excessively can cause weight gain as you are consuming larger amounts of calories.
Follow these tips to stay healthy:
· Make every other drink a soft one. Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and will help to slow down your alcohol consumption.
Try taking smaller sips of your drink to pace yourself.
· Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat a balanced meal before you go out or start drinking.
Also avoid the temptation of eating unhealthily by ordering or buying food before you start drinking. Try to avoid takeaways and snacks while drinking.
· If you are looking to cut down your alcohol consumption, try finding a friend to do it with.
Having someone to help you will make it much easier to decrease your consumption. Try a new activity together or have a film night instead of drinking, it will make cutting down easier and will save you money.
· When drinking at home, it’s easy to drink more than you intend to by pouring large measures.
Buy a 25ml measure so that you can get an idea of the size of a standard unit. Use large glasses when drinking a spirit so you can add a large quantity of mixer to slow down your consumption. Try adding soda water to white wine.
Drinking too much can have negative effects on our health.
In the short term, drinking excessively causes hangovers.
In the long term, drinking over the recommended limits can cause cancer, liver cirrhosis, strokes and heart disease.
Visit downyourdrink.org.uk for more information on safe drinking and resources to help you if you need to cut down.
The site features a drinking diary which can be used to help keep track of the amount of alcohol you drink, telling you the cost and calories of the drinks you’ve consumed.
If you have any concerns about your alcohol consumption, consult your GP for advice and support. For more information log onto alcoholconcern.org.uk or nhs.net