The benefits of drinking less

Some people don't know why they should drink less. But what could happen if you did? If you’re curious, read on.

Here are some of the short-term effects of drinking when you drink at a level that’s similar to yours. 

Reducing your drinking could help you avoid these effects:

  • Alcohol-induced anxiety
  • Diarrhoea
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Increasing feelings of stress
  • Impaired judgement (which can lead to accidents and injuries)
  • Memory loss or blackouts
  • Shaking
  • Sickness or vomiting
  • Skin conditions
  • Stomach problems
  • Sweating
  • Weight gain

Drink-free days are a great way to find new activities and reduce how much you drink.

There are also a number of serious longer-term effects of drinking as much as you do. By reducing your drinking you reduce your risk of these health conditions, which include:

  • Brain damage
  • Seven types of cancer
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) – if you drink while pregnant
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
  • Pancreatitis
  • Reproduction problems
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones)
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Stroke
  • Rosacea (skin disorder)

It’s never too late to start reducing how much you drink. Your GP can give you personal advice about what you can do to improve your health and we have lots of tips and strategies to help get you started.

Get support

If you’re worried or want to talk with someone confidentially, we can help. Drinkchat is a confidential online web chat service, for anyone who wants to talk to someone about their own drinking (or someone else's). It's available weekdays 9am to 2pm. Alternatively, call Drinkline confidentially on 0300 123 1100 on weekdays 9am to 8pm and weekends 11am to 4pm.

Alcohol support services

If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has a problem with alcohol there is a lot of help available. Here you can find useful links and phone numbers to get the support you need.

Support services

Was this information helpful?


Tips to change your relationship with alcohol