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Alcohol and you

Could you be drinking too much?

ifin doubt, calculate your intake with the tool at the bottom of thissection. Below that is a description of the nine 'types' of drinker.Are you at risk of being one of these? Don't let alcohol ruie your life.

Safedrinking levels

  • Men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol a day.
  • Women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day.

'Regularly' means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week.

If you're regularly drinking twice the guideline daily amount or more, you may need help.

If someone you know is drinking too much and you're worried about them, get them to look at this website and at NHS Choices.

How much do you drink?

Take this short test to find out whether you’re drinking too much.

1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?

            0 points – Never.
            1 point – Once a month or less.
            2 points – 2 to 4 times a month.
            2 points – 2 to 3 times a week.
            2 points – 4 or more times a week.
 
2. How many units of alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?
            0 points – 1 or 2
             1point – 3 or 4
            2 points – 5 or 6
            3 points – 7 to 9
            4 points – 10 or more
 
3. How often do you have six or more units on one occasion?
            0 points – Never.
            1 point – Less than monthly.
            2 points – Monthly.
            2 points – Weekly.
            2 points – Daily or almost daily.
 
4. How often during the past year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
            0 points – Never.
            1 point – Less than monthly.
            2 points – Monthly.
            3 points – Weekly.
            4 points – Daily or almost daily.
 
5. How often during the past year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?
            0 points – Never.
            1 point – Less than monthly.
            2 points – Monthly.
            3 points – Weekly.
            4 points – Daily or almost daily.
 
6. How often during the past year have you had a drink in the morning to get yourself going?
            0 points – Never.
            1 point – Less than monthly.
            2 points – Monthly.
            3 points – Weekly.
            4 points – Daily or almost daily.
 
7. How often during the past year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
            0 points – Never.
            1 point – Less than monthly.
            2 points – Monthly.
            3 points – Weekly.
            4 points – Daily or almost daily.
 
8. How often during the past year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
                             0 points – Never
                             1 point – Occasionally
                             2 points – Monthly
                             3 points – Weekly
                             4 points – Daily 
 
9. Have you or somebody else been injured as a result of your drinking?
            0 points – No, this has never happened.
            4 points – Yes, but not in the past year.
            4 points – Yes, during the past year.
 
10. Has a relative, friend, doctor or health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down?
            0 points – No, never.
            2 points – Yes, but not in the past year.
            4 points – Yes, during the past year.

Results

 

More than 20 points
Yourdrinking could be a problem and is already causing you problems. Therecommended limits are that women should not regularly drink more than2-3 units a day and men should not drink more than 3-4 units a day. Youmay want help to reduce your drinking.Your GP will be able to help youfind local alcohol services. You can search for local alcohol supportservices on NHS Choices 

You can also contact the National Drinkline 0300 1231110 open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

8 to 19 points
Youcould cut down. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk ofdeveloping problems. The following can help if you want to cut down.

  • Workout a daily limit and stick to it.
  • Do more activities that don’t involve drinking.
  • Eat before and while you're drinking.
  • Count your units.
  • Don’t let anyone ‘top up’ your drinks.
  • Tell friends you're cutting down.

Less than 8
You'rea sensible drinker. You are drinking in a way that is sociable and notharmful to your health. Your drinking is unlikely to cause you anyproblems as long as it remains at this low level. The recommendedlimits are that women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units aday and men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day.


The nine types of drinker - which are you?


Researchers have identified nine types of heavy drinker.
They are all at risk of liver damage and other alcohol-related illnesses.
Do you recognise any of these as being like you? If so, it may be time to change.
 
De-stress drinkers drinkto calm down and regain control of their life. They are oftenmiddle-class and have a stressful home life or pressurised job whichmakes them feel burdened with responsibility.

Conformist drinkers drink tobelong and give structure to their lives. They are mostly malesaged45-59 in clerical or manual jobs. Regular pub visits are part oftheir routine.

Boredom drinkers drink alone to pass the time. Part of their drinking is about feeling comforted, but they also seek stimulation. They are typically women,aged 35-50.

Depressed drinkers crave comfort and security. These drinkers are of any age, gender and type.They feel their lives are in a crisis and they tend to drink very heavily, often at home and alone.

Re-bonding drinkers are driven by a need to keep in touch and re-connect with those close to them. They want stimulation and drink on most evenings.

Community drinkers  need to belong and to seek release from everyday life in the company of others. They usually drink in large friendship groups.

Hedonistic drinkers crave stimulation and want to lose control. They want to stand out from the crowd and drink to get drunk up to three or four times a week. They are often divorced with grown-up children.

Macho drinkers almost live in the pub. They're mainly men who feel a need to stand out from thecrowd. They drink to feel a release, but also to feel in charge.

Border dependents consider the pub a home-from-home. They make regular visits to the pub during the day and the evening, on weekdays and at weekends. They drink fast and often.They're bored, need to fit in and are unfulfilled.

The research showed that drinkers could move from one type to another, so they could sometimes drink to de-stress and at other times drink to fit in.



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