Are you concerned about your own or someone else’s drinking?

Alcohol Awareness Week (1-7 July 2024) 

Alcohol Awareness Week is run by Alcohol Change UK and is a chance for the UK to get thinking about drinking. The theme for Alcohol Awareness Week 2024 is ‘Understanding Alcohol Harm’.

Alcohol can sometimes play a centre-stage role in our lives. It’s promoted as we watch our favourite sports, advertised as we travel to work and strategically placed in our favourite films and TV shows. It’s there when we celebrate, commiserate and when we’re just trying to cope.

Yet alcohol is harming our health and wellbeing daily:

  • Alcohol can put a strain on our finances, and once we’ve had a few drinks it is harder to keep track of how much they have cost. The cost-of-living crisis has also played a role in some people drinking more than they would like to cope with financial worries.
  • Drinking alcohol can also leave us time poor, with low energy and poor sleep. We can waste entire days recovering from hangovers and it can even lead to whole evenings where we forget what happened.
  • Alcohol can cause tensions and disagreements with those around us. It can have a major effect on our relationships, including contributing to domestic violence, family breakdown, alcohol reliant friendships, and simply not being fully present with our friends and family.
  • Drinking too much or too often can have a cost to our health, including increased risk of heart disease, liver disease, stroke, increased blood pressure, and cancer, including throat cancer and breast cancer.

Read on to find out about the free help and support available to help manage your drinking.

How do I know if I am drinking too much?

Take the Alcohol Test on the DrinkCoach website.

This FREE and confidential test takes two minutes and will help you work out how much you are really drinking and how it could be affecting your health and wellbeing.

Help is available when you are ready

If you decide that you would like to make some changes to your drinking, the links to our web pages below will help you find the approach that’s right for you. When you are ready, you will have all the tools and support you need:

Low-risk drinking guidelines

It's safest not to drink more than 14 units per week, spread over three or more days and with a few days off.

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.

A unit of alcohol is about 1 very small glass of wine (125ml) or half a pint of regular beer. Find out how many units are in your drinks on the DrinkCoach website or watch this short film which explains what a unit of alcohol is.

Feel the benefits of reducing your alcohol intake

There are many benefits to reducing your alcohol intake, including:

Immediate and 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

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

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