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Alcohol, when used responsibly, can help people unwind after a stressful day or enhance social experiences with friends and family. When alcohol is consumed excessively, however, it can result in a wide range of health problems including cardiovascular disease, liver disease, depression and anxiety. It can also contribute to social issues such as road accidents, antisocial behaviour, crime and domestic violence.
Consumption of alcohol, unlike other drugs, is more socially accepted and often people don’t associate their drinking as being a problem or having the negative connotations of drug use. We recognise that some people use alcohol socially and it never becomes problematic, however, any consumption of alcohol can be harmful. Whether you only use it at the weekends or at special occasions, such as gigs or parties, prolonged periods of drinking can put stress on internal organs and have a negative impact on a person’s behaviour. Here are some useful tips to enjoy drinking responsibly:
Always eat a substantial meal prior to drinking. Remember that this does not mean you get less drunk from drinking large quantities of alcohol: it just delays the effects
Drink slowly in the first hour
Alternate drinks with water or a soft drink.It is important to give your body regular fluids as processing alcohol can leave you feeling very dehydrated.Drinking more water or soft drinks will help alleviate that dreaded hangover the next day
Try not to participate in drinking games.Overloading your body with large quantities of alcohol in a very short space of time will inevitably result in you becoming drunk quickly which can be harmful to your health and lead you to taking risks you wouldn’t normally take
Try not to be ‘egged on’ by others as every person has their own tolerance level. What one person may be able to drink without getting drunk can leave another person extremely intoxicated.
Women should try to limit how much they drink as, due to physical differences, women are likely to get drunker quicker than men
Try not to mix alcohol with other substances, particularly cocaine, as this can have unpredictable effects
Always try and stay with friends and not find yourself alone at the end of the night. Plan how you are going to get home beforehand and make sure you have enough money to get a taxi home if need be
UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines
Following a full review of evidence and a period of public consultation the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) have replaced the existing 1995 ‘Sensible’ alcohol advice with an updated ‘Low Risk’ Drinking Guideline. As well as revising the weekly guideline for unit consumption for men (bringing it into line with that of women at <14 units), the emphasis of the new guideline is that there can no longer be considered to be any “safe” level of alcohol consumption in the population.