If you regularly drink more than the recommended daily amount it can cause health risks that you can’t see.

If you do choose to drink alcohol, the recommended daily amounts are:

  • Females drink 2-3 units or less per day with 2 alcohol free days
  • Males drink 3-4 units or less per day with 2 alcohol free days
  • Females who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant should not drink alcohol at all

Download Your Drinking and You to find out more information about alcohol, units, categories of risk and how to reduce your alcohol intake:

Your drinking and you (854kb)
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Drinking alcohol within the guidelines

reduces your risk of

  • Getting mouth, pharynx or larynx cancer
  • Developing liver cirrhosis
  • Having a stroke
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Getting breast cancer
  • Having sexual performance difficulties

It can also help you to

  • Feel less tired
  • Have an increased feeling of wellbeing
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Sleep better

Ways to reduce your alcohol intake

  • Try other sociable activities instead of going to the pub.
  • Try going out later or coming home earlier so that you don’t have as much drinking time.
  • Try diluting your drinks with water, lemonade or soda to make them last longer so you don’t drink as many.
  • Have the occasional soft drink between alcoholic drinks to reduce your unit and calorie intake.
  • Aim for at least 1-2 alcohol free days a week and if you drink to excess allow 48 hours afterwards for the body to recover.
  • Avoid having a lot of alcohol in your house as you are more likely to drink it if it’s there.
  • Buy a wine bottle stopper so that you don’t have to waste or finish a bottle in one go.
  • Try to avoid top ups so that you can keep track of your unit intake.
  • If you are trying to lose weight, remember alcohol has a lot of ‘empty’ calories. To cut down on your calories, switch to sugar free mixers and/or drinks.
  • Socialise with people who do not drink much alcohol.

10 tips for a top night out

1.    Organise getting home ie a lift or taxi, before you actually go out.

2.    Have something to eat before you leave the house to prevent you becoming drunk too quickly.

3.    Make sure people know where you are going and have a charged mobile phone with you at all times.

4.    Avoid drinking in rounds as they encourage you to drink at the fastest drinkers pace.

5.    Never leave your drink unattended.

6.    Avoid chasers and shots.

7.    It is never safe to drink and drive.

8.    Do not attempt to cook food when you get home this greatly increases your risk of having a fire.

9.    Leave something to eat in the fridge for when you get back home in case you are peckish.

10. Drink a large glass of water before you go to sleep to help prevent you feeling dehydrated the next day.

Opportunities and services

  • Drinkline 0800 917 8282