*November 16 to 20 November marks Alcohol Awareness Week, run by Alcohol Concern UK, to raise awareness of issues surrounding alcohol including the impact it can have.
During Alcohol Awareness Week people have been encouraged to talk about alcohol and how it affects us as individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.
It is estimated that the cost of alcohol on society totals £21 billion. So, bearing in mind that 87% of all UK adults drink, we looked into how aware people in the UK are of their alcohol intake and whether they truly know how much it’s affecting their health?
Drinking within the recommended guidelines
The Drinkaware Monitor 2014 is our ‘go-to’ place for the information on UK drinking attitudes and behaviors. In the Monitor we looked at adult drinking behaviour and attitudes in the UK and made a startling discovery.
We found that almost 2 in 5 (37%) participants are drinking at increasing or higher risk levels while thinking they’re drinking within ‘safe’ limits.
It seems that more awareness of alcohol units and the potential health impact of excessive drinking is needed. If you, or someone you know, would like easy-to-understand alcohol unit guideline information you can find it on our website.
Willing to cut back
On a more positive note, our research also shows that people are willing to make the change when they know the facts.
For example, one in five people who drink alcohol would like to cut back on their intake and 1 in 8 would like more guidance on just how to do this.
We’re here to reduce alcohol-related harm by giving people the information to make better choices about their drinking. That starts with helping people understand the recommended levels of drinking.
Raising awareness of drinking within recommended lower-risk guidelines
Official government lower-risk guidelines are different for men and women. Men should not regularly exceed 3-4 units a day (a pint and a half of beer) and women should not exceed 2-3 units a day (a pint of beer).
To put that in perspective drinking 3 glasses of wine or more a night could damage your health even though your built-up tolerance may suggest to you that this isn’t affecting you at all.
In fact, according to government guidelines, drinking 3 glasses of wine a night would be seen as higher-risk drinking which may surprise many.
How about excessive drinking?
Exactly how much is too much on a night out or night in? General opinion is that drinking anywhere above the recommended lower-risk unit guidelines is a risk to your health, and that’s whether you’re drinking it all in one night or over the space of a week.
Potential long and short term health side effects of high-risk drinking can include:
Raising awareness this Alcohol Awareness Week
During Alcohol Awareness Week much good work has been done to get people to consider their drinking behaviour on their lives and health.
Our research shows that there is still a gap in people’s understanding of how much they drink and the potential impact. However, there is a willingness to make healthy changes which starts with having the facts which you can find at www.drinkaware.co.uk
If you’re worried about how much you’re drinking take our quick Alcohol Self-Assessment Test. It will tell you about the impact of your drinking and what you can do to cut back.