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Recommended limits

The government guidelines for alcohol have recently changed:

  • To keep health risks from alcohol at a low level, you are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week (around 7 pints of average strength beer or 7 175ml glasses of wine). This applies to both men and women.
  • If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more. If you have one or two heavy drinking sessions, you increase your risks of death from long term illnesses and from accidents and injuries.
  • The risk of developing a range of illnesses (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases with the amount you drink on a regular basis.
  • If you wish to cut down on the amount you are drinking, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink free days each week.
  • Pregnant women are advised not to drink alcohol at all. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risk to your baby to a minimum.

Are you concerned you might be drinking too much? Follow this link and take the drinkaware self-assessment questionnaire, simply answer a few questions and find out what kind of a relationship you have with alcohol

There are many useful tools available to help you track your drinking, including apps and online resources. You can find a range of these in our useful links.

Drink Dependence

Alcohol is a common part of our lives so it is easy to forget that it is addictive, both physically and psychologically. Drink Dependence sometimes known as 'alcoholism' means that drinking alcohol becomes an important, or sometimes the most important, factor in your life and you feel unable to function without it. Many people think to be a 'dependent' drinker you would be stumbling around drunk every day this is not necessarily true. There are varying degrees of alcohol dependence, if you find that you 'need' a couple of glasses of wine most nights of the week, or always go for a few pints after work, just to unwind, you're likely to be drinking at unsafe levels that could affect your long-term health. If you can't enjoy yourself or relax without having a drink, you could have become psychologically dependent on alcohol leading to a physical dependence. Physical dependence is when your body shows withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking and nausea, when your blood alcohol level falls.

Are you concerned about your drinking?

If you would like some useful tips on ways to cut down on your drinking please have a look at our page on cutting down, alternatively if you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol please call The Shropshire Recovery Partnership on 01743 294 700.


If you would like further information, please consult the 'helpful links' section on this page.

Fact Zone

9% of men and 6% of women drank very heavily (at least three times the recommended limits) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 14% of men and 12% of women
The number of older people between the ages of 60 and 74 admitted to hospitals in England with mental and behavioural disorders associated with alcohol use has risen by over 50% more than in the 15-59 age group over the past 10 years
34% of men and 28% of women drank more than recommended (4 units for men, 3 for women) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 52% of men and 53% of women
The alcohol-related mortality rate of men in the most disadvantaged socio-economic class is 3.5 times higher than for men in the least disadvantaged class, while for women the figure is 5.7 times
For every £1 invested in specialist alcohol treatment, £5 is saved on health, welfare and crime costs


Helpful Links