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Going Sober for October: How do you drink?

Going Sober for October: How do you drink?

As October approaches, a lot of the public will be putting down the bottle for charity.

Ahead of this trend of sobriety consider what kind of drinker you are, the risks it carries and how you can lower your consumption - without jumping straight to orange juice every night.

We are regularly reminded not to exceed 14 units of alcohol per week on a regular basis. But, do you know how much 14 units is? Roughly, about six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine. Divided over a week, that means we shouldn’t drink even a full pint per day or much more than one small glass of wine.

There is no level of drinking that is considered “safe”. Drinking less than 14 units is categorised as “low risk” but still not exempt from the risks.

Recent years have dispelled old myths of drinking and proved the harms to health that regular excessive drinking can cause. There is a better understanding now, more than ever of the link between drinking and illness, including a range of cancers.

Specifically, after 10 years of regularly exceeding this guidance you can develop the following illnesses:

  • • Cancers of the mouth, throat and breast
  • • Stroke
  • • Heart Disease
  • • Liver Disease
  • • Brain Damage
  • • Damage to the nervous system
  •  

If you are drinking a lot most weeks, there are several tips to help you keep the risks and alcohol level low, try the following:

  • • Spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly exceed this limit
  • • In trying to cut down, try to assign a few drink-free days each week
  •  

A regular excess of drinking is not the only form of indulgence that holds significant risk. Drinking too much too quickly on single occasions can present a danger regarding the following:

  • • Accidents resulting in injury and in extreme cases, death
  • • Misjudging risky situations
  • • Losing self-control, like having unprotected sex
  •  

In a single session of drinking there are multiple ways you can reduce health risks such as:

  • • Limiting how much you drink
  • • Pacing your speed of drinking
  • • Drinking whilst consuming food
  • • Alternating alcoholic beverages with water or non-alcoholic drinks.
  •  

Awareness and taking these steps are a start that can be considered alongside those you know stopping entirely for October - an important decision when reflecting on the risks.

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