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Drinking alcohol can be enjoyable but the more you drink the bigger the risk that you may be damaging your health.

Alcohol is measured in units, one unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, which is around the amount of alcohol the average adult can process in an hour.

The NHS recommends that, if you drink most weeks, to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level you should:

  • not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis whether you are a man or a woman 
  • spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week
  • if you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week

Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.

Responsible drinking means drinking enjoyably, sociably and moderately and includes not drinking at all in situations when the effects of alcohol will put your own or someone's safety or health at risk. So don't:

  • Drink and drive
  • Operate machinery, use electrical equipment or work at heights after drinking
  • Drink heavily before playing sport
  • Drink while on certain medications - ask your Doctor if you are unsure
  • Binge drink - it can lead to health and social problems
  • Drink when pregnantIf you've been regularly drinking above the lower-risk guidelines, cutting down on alcohol can improve your general wellbeing and help you:
  • Sleep better
  • Have more energy
  • Lose weight
  • Avoid hangovers
  • Improve your physical fitness, memory, mood and relationships
  • Save money

Tips and advice to help you cut down on alcohol can be found on the NHS Change4Life website. Drinkaware, Down Your Drink and One You also provide useful information and advice. Why not try out One You's Alcohol Tracker to check how much you drink. Drinkline runs a free, confidential helpline if you are concerned about yours or someone else's drinking - telephone 0300 123 1110, or you could contact Alcoholics Anonymous.

Local Support Addaction Herefordshire provide information, advice and support across Herefordshire for people with drug and alcohol issues. Visit their website for details or they can be contacted as follows;

  • Telephone: 01432 802487
  • 6 Bridge Street, Hereford, HR4 9DF
  • Monday to Friday - 9am until 5pm and Saturday 10am until 1pm

Visit our section Drugs and alcohol advice for young people and parents for information on the support available to young people, parents and their families.