Sensible drinking


Many of us enjoy an alcoholic drink now and then. A celebratory drink can be a traditional way to mark a family occasion or a milestone. However, it isn’t advisable to use alcohol to lift your mood, as in the long term it increases feelings of depression. If you find yourself regularly having a drink to help you cope, speak to someone you trust about how you’re feeling.

Sensible drinking

Drinking wine or beer in the evenings – maybe with your meal or while watching TV – has not received the same media attention as binge drinking. But regular drinking like this can damage your liver, brain, blood vessels and other organs. The liver needs at least two alcohol-free days per week to recover from the toxic effects of drinking.

Government guidance is that we should drink in moderation, which means that:
• men should not regularly drink more than 3–4 units a day
• women should not regularly drink more than 2–3 units a day.

‘Regularly’ means every day or most days. As an example, a pint of beer (4 per cent alcohol) and a (175ml) standard glass of wine (13 per cent alcohol) both contain 2.3 units.

You should avoid alcohol when taking certain medicines, so always read leaflets that come with prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines or herbal medicines. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist.

If you are worried about your own or another person’s drinking, speak to your GP.

Government advice on sensible drinking

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