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Alcohol Facts and Information
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Alcohol Facts and Information

Recommended daily limits

 Drinking more than the recommended daily limits of alcohol can cause health problems including high blood pressure, cancers and liver disease. The effect of alcohol increases with age, and young people and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to its effects. If you would like to reduce your drinking, advice and help is available from your GP, Pathways to Recovery and many websites including NHS website and Drink Aware website.

As a guide:

  • Men should not drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day
  • Women should not drink more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol per day
  • Older people are particularly at risk from the harmful effects of alcohol. Recent guidance is that the upper safe limit for those over 65 is equivalent to a half pint of lager or a small (125ml) glass of wine
  • An alcohol free childhood is the healthiest and best option. If children do drink alcohol they should not do so until they are at least 15 years old. If 15 to 17 year olds do drink alcohol it should be rarely, and never more than once a week
  • Pregnant women or women (and men) trying to conceive should avoid drinking alcohol. If pregnant women do choose to drink, to minimise the risk to the baby, they should not drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week and should not get drunk

So what does a unit of alcohol look like?

Examples of what units of alcohol look like

More detailed information on units can be found on the Public Health website.

Drinking causes damage you can't see

The facts on health harms and how to drink less.

Drinking causes damage you can't seeThere is so much advice and information about alcohol that it can sometimes seem overwhelming. If you prefer to work out for yourself how many units you are drinking and to make a plan to cut down then you may find this booklet helpful.

If you prefer to talk to someone about your drinking contact your GP, call Worcestershire Pathways to Recovery
on 0808 178 3295.
or Drinkline (24 hour support) on 0800 917 8282.


if you have physical withdrawal symptoms (like shaking, sweating or feelings of anxiety until you have a first drink of the day), you should take medical advice before stopping completely as it can be dangerous to do this too quickly and without proper advice and support.

Alcohol and the law

Premises such as shops, bars, pubs, village halls, schools and clubs selling or supplying alcohol – even on an occasional basis – will probably need to be licensed or registered with their local authority. In Worcestershire see licensing information on district council websites or contact Worcestershire Regulatory Services on 01527 881454 for more information.

It is illegal for anyone to sell alcohol to a person who is under 18, and also against the law for an adult to buy alcohol for or on behalf of anyone who is under 18. (There is one exception to this rule, when 16 or 17 year olds are eating a meal in a restaurant, beer or cider can be purchased for them).

Under 18's cannot buy alcohol in any licensed premises.

For more information about national alcohol policy and the law see the Home Office website.

Further Information

In this section

More Information


See also in our website


External websites

  • Talk to Frank
    Free and confidential information and signposting.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    Community programme to encourage abstinence from alcohol.
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
    Recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other.
  • AdFam 
    Information, training and support for carers, support groups and professionals.  
  • Alcohol Myths Buster
    Test your knowledge of alcohol-related risks and find out the facts about drinking.

We are not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more

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This page was last reviewed 9 July 2013 at 16:23.
The page is next due for review 5 January 2015.