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Alcohol 'The Facts'

Alcohol and excessive drinking is a big issue which causes both health and social problems everywhere including here in Cumbria.

On average 1,200 people are treated in hospitals in Cumbria due to alcohol specific conditions each year.

Drinking alcohol is fine in moderation if you are over 18, but its important that you are also aware of the risks and know how to get help when you need it.

Regularly drinking above recommended daily limits risks damaging your health.

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

The Department of Health recommends that you do not exceed:

  • For Men - 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day, not exceeding 21 units a week
  • For Women - 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day, not exceeding 14 units a week

One unit of alcohol is:

  • approximately a half pint of normal strength beer
  • one small glass of wine
  • one small measure of spirits

Compared to non-drinkers, if you regularly drink well above the recommended levels you could be badly damaging your health. It's not just alcoholics who can damage their health due to drinking, but binge drinkers also or people who regularly drink over the recommended level, called high risk drinkers.

High level drinkers are classed as someone who drinks and

  • regularly drinking more than 8 units a day, or more than 50 units a week if you're a man
  • regularly drinking more than 6 units a day, or more than 35 units a week if you're a woman 

In order to understand how many units are in what drinks and how many units of alcohol you regularly drink, use the unit calculator below.

If you're a high risk drinker:

  • you could be 3-5 times more likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat
  • you could be 3-10 times more likely to develop liver cirrhosis
  • men could have four times the risk of having high blood pressure, and women are at least twice as likely to develop it
  • you could be twice as likely to suffer from an irregular heartbeat
  • women are around 50% more likely to get breast cancer

There are a few simple ways for people to cut down on drinking.

Cumbria's Alcohol Strategy

Please click below to see a copy of Cumbria's Alcohol Strategy


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