As the festive season ramps up, the invites for drinks after work seem to be stacking up.
All anyone seems to want to do is go out for a mulled wine or a couple of pints. And for some, it can be a pretty dangerous time of year.
According to the NHS, alcohol misuse is ‘when you drink in a way that's harmful, or when you're dependent on alcohol’.
But you don’t necessarily need to give up the booze altogether, you might just need to cutback to be drinking in moderation.
“To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, both men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week," the NHS explains.
For context, one unit of alcohol is 8g or 10ml of pure alcohol, which is about half a pint of lower to normal-strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 3.6%), a single small shot measure (25ml) of spirits (25ml, ABV 40%), or a small glass (125ml, ABV 12%) of wine containing about 1.5 units of alcohol.
According to GP and medical adviser at MyHealthChecked, Dr Dave Nichols says there’s six signs of having a drinking problem:
1) Drink alcohol every day without thinking about it
2) Binge-drink regularly
3) Only socialise where drink is involved
4) Drink regularly during the day
5) Find it annoying when others are not drinking
6) Drink more than the NHS guidelines every month.
If you find you’re drinking more than recommended a week, the NHS has simple tips for cutting down.
It’s advised to ‘make a plan’ by setting yourself a limit before you start drinking.
Also try and ‘set a budget’, so you only take out a fixed amount of money to splash out on booze.
You should also let your friends ad family know that you’re cutting down and it’s something important to you.
The NHS also advise taking ‘it a day at a time’ by cutting back ‘a little each day’ and also recommend going for smaller size drinks.
It’s also recommended to ‘have a lower-strength drink’ as well as alternating alcoholic drinks with water or other soft drinks.
And finally, to help with cutting back, the NHS advise having several drink-free days a week.
If you're worried about your own or someone else's drinking, you can call the free national alcohol helpline in complete confidence. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).Featured Image Credit: Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Getty/Martiins