Government Guidelines

Weekly Drinking Guidelines

The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women is that:-

  • To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
  • If you regularly drink 14 units per week, it is best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days.
  • If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.

The risk of developing a range of illnesses (including, for example, cancer) increases with any amount of alcoholic drink on a regular basis

Single Occasion Drinking

The Chief Medical Officers’ advice for men and women who wish to keep their short term health risks from single occasion drinking to a low level is to reduce them by:-

  • Limiting the total amount of alcohol you drink on any single occasion;
  • Drinking more slowly, drinking with food, and alternating with water;
  • Planning ahead to avoid problems e.g. by making sure you can get home safely or that you have people you trust with you

The sort of things that are more likely to happen if you don’t understand and judge correctly the risks of drinking too much on a single occasion can include:

  • Accidents resulting in injury
  • Misjudging risky situations, and
  • Losing self-control

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