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Alcohol

Why people drink alcohol?
Alcohol is part of a way of life for most people. It can be enjoyable and can help people to socialise and celebrate. But consuming alcohol does have it's drawbacks.
There are many reasons why people drink alcohol. Some like its flavour and helps them to relax, or enjoy it as a way of celebrating. Others drink alcohol because it’s sociable, and part of our culture.

Alcohol Units
It is recommended that men drink no more than three or four units of alcohol a day. Significant health risks are unlikely to occur by consuming this level of units daily. For women, two or three units per day is the level at which health risk is low.
In addition, the UK Chief Medical Officers advise that pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid drinking alcohol altogether.
It is also suggested, for men and women, to have at least one or two alcohol - free days a week.

How many units is in alcohol?
- One pint of normal strength lager (3 - 3.5%) = 2 units
- One 275ml bottle of alcopop (5.5%) = 1.5 units
- 175ml glass of 12% wine = 2 units
- One measure of spirits (40%) = 1 unit

Effects of alcohol
It is very difficult to know how alcohol will affect a person. It depends on age, gender, and whether you are taking any other drugs. Nevertheless, it is possible to summarize the likely effects.
Initial effects may include short - term symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, hangover. But also, there are long - term effects. Binge drinking can cause long term damage to your liver, your stomach and your brain, which could be a threat to your life. In addition, it can cause serious social and psychological problems such as depression and insomnia
Heavy binge drinking can be dangerous. The likelihood of having a physical injury - through violence, accidents, and unprotected sex - as well as alcohol poisoning, are more likely when drunk.

In addition, a person who regularly drinks in excess of the alcohol guidelines, increases their chances of suffering from any of the following conditions :
 
• Cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus or larynx
• Breast cancer in women
• Stroke
• Heart disease or irregular heartbeat, which can lead to a heart attack
• High blood pressure
• Liver disease (such as cirrhosis and liver cancer)
• Inflammation of the pancreas
• Depression, memory loss, brain damage or dementia
• Problem fertility

The benefits of drinking less alcohol
• Feel better in the morning.
• More energy and feel less tired during the day.
• Begin to feel in better shape.
• Less likely to gain weight and perhaps even lose weight.
• Reduce the likelihood of damaging the body.

Drinking and driving
The recent statistics indicate that approximately 16,000 people are injured and 3,000 are killed in the UK each year due to drink driving. By law it is an offence to drive with more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in your body. Therefore, it’s likely that the best advice would be not to drink alcohol at all, if you intend to drive.


Statistic of alcohol - A few interesting facts: 
• It takes 1 hour for your body to process 1 unit of alcohol.
• More than 5,000 people die each year in England and Wales as a direct result of alcohol, and alcohol is associated with 40,000 deaths further.
• It is estimated that alcohol was a factor in 45 percent of arrests for assault and wounding, and half of all for violent crimes.
• Every year alcohol is around £70 million and £85 million to the Health Service in Wales.

Related external links:

DAN 24 / 7: www.dan247.org.uk
Drink Aware: www.drinkaware.co.uk
Alcohol Concern: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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