is a considerable public health burden in the UK, in 2008/09 it accounted for 1,057,000 alcohol-related admissions to hospital, costing in the region of £3billion per year. The number of people reporting consumption of harmful levels of alcohol is increasing. It is reported that "Around a third of men and a fifth of women are drinking over the weekly recommendations." So what are the recommended safe limits of alcohol drinking?
Men should drink no more than 4-5 units of alcohol on 4-5 days per week
Women should drink no more than 3-4 units of alcohol on 3-4 days per week
Pregnant women. - The exact safe amount is not known so guidance of the Department of Health is that pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant should not drink at all.
In general the more you drink above the safe limits; the more harmful alcohol is likely to be. And remember, binge drinking can be harmful even though the weekly total may not seem too high.
So what is a unit of alcohol? One unit of alcohol is 10ml (1cl) by volume, or 8g by weight of pure alcohol. So for example one unit of alcohol is equal to
Half a pint of ordinary strength beer, lager or cider (3-4% alcohol by volume)
Or A small pub measure (50ml) of fortified wine such as sherry or port (20% alcohol volume)
There are one and a half units of alcohol in:
A small glass (125ml) of ordinary strength wine (12% alcohol volume) or
A standard pub measure (35ml) of spirits (40% alcohol volume)
If you think your alcohol consumption is too high and would like some help please do not hesitate to book an appointment with one of the Doctors at the surgery. They will be able offer advice about alcohol consumption and sign post you to other services that will be able to help you