Alcohol and Drugs
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Alcohol and Drugs

Drinking can be enjoyable and many people in Leeds who drink alcohol do not experience or encounter any problems. Heavy drinking, or getting drunk at the wrong time or in the wrong situation can lead to problems and harm your health.

To keep drinking enjoyable, it is recommended that:
  • men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day 
  • women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day 
  • if you've had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours 
  • it’s best to try to have at least two alcohol-free days every week.
On this page you can find information on drinking sensibly and tips to cut down.

Click to expandWhat is a unit?

The alcohol content of drinks is measured in ‘units’. With so many different drinks and glass sizes, from shots to pints, not to mention bottles, it's easy to get confused about how many units are in your drink.

A single (35ml) shot of spirits contains roughly the same amount of alcohol as a small (125ml) glass of wine. This is about the same amount of alcohol (1.4 units) as is contained in a half pint of normal strength beer. In other words, beers are no safer than spirits. What matters is how much you drink.

Here’s how one unit looks in different drinks: 
-Half a pint of ordinary strength beer or cider 
-One small glass of wine
-One single measure of spirits
-One small glass of sherry

For more information about alcohol units, take a look at the Drink Aware Unit Calculator in the external links section that helps you track your drinking over time.

Click to expandHow does drinking affect my health?

There's no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink below the recommended daily limits, the risks of harming your health are low.  Regularly drinking more than these recommended daily limits could damage your health.

Some of these risks include:
-Liver problems
-Reduced fertility
-High blood pressure
-Increased risk of various cancers
-Heart attack

Most people who have alcohol-related health problems aren’t alcoholics, they simply have regularly drunk for some years more than the recommended levels. ​

Click to expandWhat are the benefits of cutting down?

Drinking fewer units is a great choice, and can have some hugely positive impacts on your health and the way you feel about yourself.

The effects you’ll notice straight away include: -feeling better in the mornings
-being less tired during the day
-your skin may start to look better
-you’ll start to feel fitter
-you may stop gaining weight

Click to expand8 simple tips for cutting down

Make a plan
Before you start drinking, set yourself a limit on how much you’re going to drink.

Set yourself a budget
Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.

Let them know
If you let your friends and family know you’re cutting down and that it’s important to you, you could get support from them.

Take it a day at a time
Try and cut back a little each day. That way, your goals are easier to achieve and every day can be a success.

Make it a smaller one
You can still enjoy a drink but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer or a small glass of wine.

Have a lower-strength drink
Cut down the alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %). You'll find this information on the bottle.

Stay hydrated
Drink a pint of water before you start drinking, and avoid using alcohol to quench your thirst. Have a soft drink instead.

Take a break
Have two or three days each week when you don’t have an alcoholic drink

Click to expandLocal alcohol services for me

If you feel like you would like advice and support about your drinking, there are services out there in Leeds which can help.
You can access a service by: 
-referring yourself 
-visiting your GP 
-being referred by another health professional

Forward Leeds is a new alcohol and drugs service for adults young people and families. Forward Leeds is free and provides various services including: advice, support, training and various recovery options. 

For more information including location and opening hours please visit the Forward Leeds website. You can find their link below or call 0113 887 2477.

Please see the external links section on this page for more links to help and support
​​

Forward Leeds

Click to expandWhere can I go for information and support with other drugs?

If you think you are misusing alcohol and / or drugs or you're worried about a friend, partner or family member, there are a number of services available in Leeds which offer advice and treatment services.

Forward Leeds is a free service available to anyone misusing alcohol and/or drugs in Leeds. Forward Leeds provides various services including: advice, support, training, needle exchange and various recovery options. For more information including location and opening hours please visit the Forward Leeds website. You can find their link below or call 0113 887 2477.

The council also commissions other drug, alcohol, offender recovery agencies including CRI and DISC, please click on the links below to visit their websites for more information.

Forward Leeds

CRI

DISC


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