Alcohol and drinking

Alcohol and drinking

Solihull operates a Single Point of Engagement for anyone who is concerned about alcohol, alcohol misuse or alcohol abuse.

If you are concerned about your own alcohol drinking, or the alcohol use of somebody else, contact SIAS (Solihull Integrated Addictions Service) on:

Anyone calling SIAS will receive immediate support and guidance and be put in touch with the most appropriate help.

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Alcohol limits

People often worry about how much is too much alcohol because:

  • alcohol units are not easy to understand
  • most people drink by the glass

In the UK, current guidelines for alcohol use are:

  • men – not to regularly exceed 3 to 4 units
  • women – not to regularly exceed 2 to 3 units

In the UK, 1 unit of alcohol is 10ml (millilitres) of pure alcohol. This means that 3 units of alcohol is equal to:

  • a pint and a half of weak (3.5% ABV or below) beer, cider or lager
  • a pint of strong (5% ABV or above) beer, cider or lager
  • a 250ml glass of wine with an ABV of 12%

Doctors also recommend not to drink every day and to have at least 2 alcohol free days each week.

You can read more about alcohol limits on the Change for life website (www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/alcohol-lower-risk-guidelines-units.aspx)

Binge drinking and no drink days

Drinking too much in one go is known as binge drinking. Providing guidelines and having daily limits helps to highlight the problem.

It is not the only problem with alcohol though. Drinking every day, even if you stick to guidelines and daily limits, can also be harmful to your health.

If you struggle not to drink every day, or you are concerned about a friend, loved one or someone else, call SIAS on 0121 301 4141.

SIAS support for alcohol problems and addiction

All links in this section take you to the SIAS website, at www.sias-solihull.org.uk.

SIAS (Solihull Integrated Addiction Services) is a partnership of organisations in Solihull that offers easy access to information, support and treatment if:

  • your alcohol use is worrying you
  • the alcohol use of a friend or family member is worrying you

SIAS offers information and a range of support and treatment options which are tailored for the individual. The help available from SIAS can include:

  • alcohol information and advice
  • drug support and advice
  • 1 to 1 support sessions
  • medically assisted detoxification (detox)
  • long term support

SIAS provides confidential support to:

NHS support for drinking problems

The NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk/conditions/Alcohol-misuse/Pages/Introduction.aspx) has information on alcohol and its effects as well as tips and tools to help watch, control and cut down on your drinking.

It can also provide you with information, support and guidance on:

  • recommended levels of consumption
  • health risks associated with alcohol misuse
  • services for people who want to stop or cut down on their drinking
  • support for families, carers and friends affected by alcohol misuse

Alcohol and life

For many people, alcohol plays a part in their lives and is usually drunk at sensible levels. For some people though, drinking alcohol can become a problem.

Drinking too much booze can damage your health and be a cause of serious accident and injury.

People that are not in control of their alcohol use can also:

  • have no money
  • behave inappropriately
  • suffer severe mood swings
  • lose friendships
  • struggle to find and stay in work
  • have relationship and family problems
  • get into trouble with the police

If you recognise any of these signs in yourself, or in friends, family members and loved ones or someone else, call SIAS on 0121 301 4141.

Top tips for responsible drinking

Solihull Council suggests the following tips to help you drink responsibly:

  • Men should drink no more than 4 units of alcohol in one go
  • Women should drink no more than 3 units of alcohol in one go
  • Be aware of unit control and measures when pouring and drinking alcohol at home
  • Be aware of how alcohol affects any medication you are taking
  • Have non-alcoholic drinks in between each alcoholic drink
  • Try lower strength alcoholic drinks
  • Drink from smaller glasses
  • Never drink before driving or operating machinery

Further alcohol support and information

All links in this section take you to third party websites unless otherwise stated.

There are a large number of organisations offering help, support, guidance to tackle the harm caused by alcohol:

  • Change4life (www.nhs.uk/change4life) provides tips and tools to cut down and manage your drinking.
  • Frank (www.talktofrank.com/drug/alcohol) provides information about drugs, including alcohol and services available.
  • Alcohol Concern (www.alcoholconcern.org.uk) aims to reduce harm caused by alcohol by offering help and advice about the dangers of drinking too much and campaigning for effective treatments at a national and community level.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/) works to support each other to deal with drinking.
  • Al-Anon Family Groups (www.al-anonuk.org.uk/) provide support to anyone who has been affected by another person’s drinking.
  • Adfam (www.adfam.org.uk/) which works to improve the support available to families that have been affected by drug and alcohol related issues.
  • Drinkaware (www.drinkaware.co.uk/) is an independent charity, funded from donations and finance from drinks companies and supermarkets

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