Alcohol facts

Overuse of alcohol can cause many problems and it is wise to be aware that it can sneak up on you.

Alcohol is the most used drug in the UK after tobacco. If it were a new drug it would probably be made illegal as the effects can be just as devastating as other drugs. Alcohol acts to depress the central nervous system (CNS) but it makes people feel happy because it also depresses inhibitions.

Government recommendations

The government recommended limits are based on the physical damage that alcohol can do and have been updated in January 2016 to a maximum of 14 units for men and women per week.  The advice is to have several drink free days per week. To help you see how many units you are drinking, click here. And have a look at DrinkAware to see what units mean in terms of glasses of wine, spirits and beer.

If you do drink, then here are some tips to stay safer.

Alcohol advice

  • Keep a diary of how much you do drink and write down how you were feeling at the time.
  • Look at your diary and count up your units and see if you use more when you are in a certain mood or something has happened to prompt you to drink.
  • Drink water in between alcoholic drinks.
  • If you know you are going to drink heavily, plan beforehand who you are going with and how you are getting home.
  • Most  ‘spiking’ of drinks happens with more alcohol, so don’t let people add a double in instead of a single.
  • DON’T MIX DRINK AND DRUGS especially depressant drugs – this leads to many deaths as the body cannot cope with both.

Drink diary

At Catalyst we often use a drink diary as a way of assessing how much alcohol someone is using. You can of course change it to work for drug use as well.

Each time you drink, you record how much, when, where and your mood at the time. Often drug or alcohol use can be a result of pressures which become very clear if this diary is completed honestly (who you lying to?).

Get started today by downloading the Drink diary

Want to know how many units are in a particular drink? Have a look at this list.