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Alcohol and Drinking

For most people, having a drink is not a problem and they drink within safe recommended limits.  A lot of people are unaware, though, that drinking more than the recommended limits can lead to a range of long term health problems. If you are concerned about your or someone elses level of drinking we have some information to help support you in getting help.

Light to moderate drinking does not effect emotional balance but there are some people who drink to alter their mood, to make them feel less anxious or to help them cope when they are feeling worried or fed up.

Please note though it is important that if you are a heavy drinker and might suffer alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you should NEVER stop drinking suddenly. Instead, cut down a little and get immediate medical advice from your GP.
Alcohol and Drinking Advice Live It Well

What are the Recommended Alcohol Limits ?

Adults should not regularly drink more than:

  • 3-4 units a day if you’re a man
  • 2-3 units a day if you’re a woman

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content provided by NHS Choices

Your Feedback counts

We’d really value your feedback on the alcohol self assessment tool above, what you scored and if you’ll change how much you drink now you know your score. It just takes a few a minutes to complete but it help us a lot. Give Us Your Feedback

(this will take you to a short survey on Kent County Councils website).

What is an Alcohol Unit?

One UK unit is 10ml (eight grams) of pure alcohol. Different drinks have different strengths so it can often be difficult to know how many units you’ve had.

Below is a basic guide to the number of alcohol units in some common drinks:

  • One pint of ordinary strength beer, lager or cider = 2 units
  • One pint of strong beer, lager or cider = 3 units
  • A small (125ml) glass of wine = 1.5 units
  • A large (175ml) glass of wine = about 2 units
  • A 275ml bottle of alcopops = 1.5 units
  • A 25ml pub measure of spirits = 1 unit
  • A 50ml pub measure of fortified wine such as sherry or port = 1 unit

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Steps to Cutting Down Alcohol Consumption

You should think about moderating your alcohol consumption, and may need help if:

  • you regularly drink more than the recommended limits.
  • you always feel the need to have a drink.
  • you get into trouble because of your drinking.
  • other people warn you about how much you’re drinking.

The first step to moderating your alcohol consumption should be for you to go to your GP. Be honest with your GP about how much you drink. Realising that you may have a problem with alcohol is the first step on the road to getting better, but it is often the hardest one.  

If your body has become dependent on alcohol, stopping drinking overnight can be life-threatening, so if you do drink heavily always get advice from your GP about cutting down gradually and safely.

NHS Choices have some great first tips on cutting down on your drinking. Follow the link.

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Alcohol Services in Kent and Medway

Alcohol and Drinking Advice Live It Well Your GP may refer you to a local community alcohol service. To find out more about services in your local area please see the information below.

If you live in East Kent (Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway, Swale or Thanet) you can contact Turning Point on 0300 123 1560 or you can access their website by clicking here.

If you live in Medway you can contact Turning Point on 0300 123 1560 or you can access their website by clicking here.

If you live in West Kent contact Change Grow Live www.changegrowlive.org they have offices in Gravesend, Maidstone and Tonbridge.

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Additional Help and Support

The NHS have a  downloadable desktop alcohol calculator which you can access by clicking here.

NHS Choices also has lots of advice and information about cutting down on your alcohol consumption. You can find out more by clicking here. Learn more about the various treatments available for alcohol misuse by clicking here.

If you have any suggestions or comments on this page, please let us know by clicking here.

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