Do you know your limits?

Get Connected
Get Connected
Three wine glasses

Do you know that there are new alcohol guidelines that have halved the recommended drinking limit? Get Connected and YouthNet look into whether this has changed people’s behaviours and attitudes towards alcohol.

What are the new alcohol guidelines? According to new drinking guidelines from the UK’s chief medical officers, the weekly alcohol limit is now 14 units for men and women.

Has this change anything for you?

Who listens to guidelines anyway? A selection of 16-25 year olds commented on the effect – if any – the guideline would have on them. Half had heard of the changes while the other half had not, some of their comments:

Chloe, 21, “Yeah, I have heard about the change [to alcohol guidelines] on Twitter. It probably won’t change the way I approach alcohol – as a student it is part of the lifestyle, drinking is a sociable thing at university. It’s how I’ve met most of my friends and it’s something fun to do which takes my mind off deadlines.

Samuel, 20, “I hadn’t heard about the change, or what effects the new guidelines might have. I’ve never been much of a drinker, so the guidelines will not affect me, or change the way I view alcohol.”

John, 21: “I have heard of the change. This wouldn’t change my attitude to alcohol – I tend to drink on special occasions in the company of others. I don’t have a big craving to drink on a regular basis. But I’m concerned about others I know who drink more.”

Daustina, 22, “I have not heard of the guidelines / changes. Hence it has not affected my attitude toward alcohol.”

How many alcohol units do I drink a week?

It’s quite easy to forget how much you’ve had in a week, your overall total could be made up of:

* Half a pint of beer or cider = 1.5 units

* A small glass (125ml) of wine = 1.5 units

* A single measure of spirits (e.g. whisky, vodka, rum or gin) = 1 unit

With just 4 pints of beer, a small glass of wine and a vodka / coke – you’re already over your weekly allowance! Find out your drinking nationality with the BBC booze calculator.

What are the effects of alcohol?

Ultimately, it’s up to you how much and how often you drink alcohol, but it’s always good to know what effects any substance could have on you. The negative effects are:

* Liver problems

* Accidents (falling over, drink driving or stumbling onto a road)

* Bad skin

* Violent crime (whether committing or as a victim)

* Increased blood pressure and heart rate

* Slurred speech

Suggestions to reduce your alcohol intake.

Drink for the right reasons – to celebrate rather than to forget

Slow it down – pace yourself through the night, your body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, so try not to drink rapidly.

Know your limits – be sure to know when you should stop, if you’re feeling a little tipsy but don’t want to be judged by your friends then just order a soft drink at the bar instead.

Finally, take a break every now and again, whether it be a dry January or just a quiet weekend in.

This post was originally part of the Get Connected website. YouthNet and Get Connected merged to form The Mix in 2016.


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Published on 28-Jan-2016