Alcohol consumption guidance

To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) advise it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

Units are a simple way of expressing the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink.  One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol.  The number of units is based on the size of the drink, as well as its alcoholic strength.

Low-risk drinking guidelines

If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it's best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of long-term illness and injury.

The risk of developing a range of health problems (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases the more you drink on a regular basis.

If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days a week.

Single occasion drinking

If you regularly drink on a weekly basis and wish to keep minimise both the short and long term risks to your health, this single occasion drinking advice is relevant for you.

The CMO’s advice for men and women who want 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 such as making sure you can get home safely or having people you trust with you.

The sorts of things that are more likely to happen if you misjudge your overall alcohol intake on a single occasion can include: 

  • Accidents resulting in injury; causing death in some cases. 
  • Misjudging risky situations.
  • Losing self-control (for example, engaging in unprotected sex).

Certain groups of people are more likely to be affected by alcohol and should be more careful of their drinking on any one occasion.

These can include those at risk of falls, on medication that may interact with alcohol or those with ay pre-existing physical and mental health problems which could be exacerbated. 

How can we help?

Cutting down on alcohol has lots of benefits and you can feel the results within just a few days. If you’re concerned about how much you're drinking take our online assessment to start your journey. Depending on what you tell us, we can help you to make positive lifestyle changes.

Once you've completed the assessment, we will help you to understand where the issues are with your alcohol consumption. Then, we'll set goals and monitor your drinking levels to track your progress. 

Get in touch

Click the below button to take our online assessment to help you understand more about your health needs, prioritise them and find the right support for you.

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Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone about any of our services, or would like assistance taking the assessment online please contact us on 0300 303 9988 or email to talk to one of our friendly team members.

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We all know that too much alcohol can lead to serious health conditions, but did you know just how many benefits there are to your health and wellbeing if you drank a little less?