If you are drinking heavily on a regular basis, or even slightly too much each week or day, you could be doing severe damage to your health and surpassing the recommended weekly alcohol consumption.
People who drink five glasses of wine every week, or five pints of beer per week (one pint per day of the working week), are at great risk of suffering a premature death. Those who drink double this amount (ten pints of beer per week), could even be taking a couple of years from their life expectancy.
This guide will help you determine how much alcohol you are consuming, and whether you should start taking action to curb your drinking habits before they spiral into a more serious issue and potential alcohol addiction.
Recommended Weekly Alcohol Consumption: Facts And Figures
It is recommended that both men and women consume no more than 14 units per week. These 14 units should be consumed over multiple days, not all on the same day.
Here’s a guide to the number of units in each drink. Remember that one drink does not equate to one unit.
Wine (ABV 12%)
125ml – 1.5 units
175ml – 2.1 units
250ml – 3 units
Beer, Lager & Cider
Low-strength, pint – 2 units
Higher-strength, pint – 3 units
330ml bottle (ABV 5%) – 1.7 units
440ml can (ABV 4.5%) – 2 units
Spirits (Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whisky, Tequila) (ABV 40%)
‘Single’ spirit measure (25ml) – 1 unit
‘Double’ spirit measure (50 ml) – 2 units
You shouldn’t be consuming more than 14 units per week. These units shouldn’t be ‘binged’ in a single night, as this can increase your chances of suffering long-term health consequences.
If you cannot figure out how many units are in your drink, you should examine the label on the bottle to determine the strength of the alcohol (ABV), before multiplying this by the volume of your drink (in ml) and then dividing by 1000.
Remember: ABV (Alcohol strength) x size of drink (in ml) ÷ 1000 = total units
If you feel you should cut down on your alcohol consumption, start by having some alcohol-free days every week. Everyone responds to alcohol in different ways depending on their build, height, weight and gender.
Work out what is healthy for you and try to reduce your alcohol consumption overall by cutting down on drinking days. The more alcohol you consume generally on a weekly basis, the more likely you are to develop health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and liver issues.
Warning Signs That You Are Drinking Too Much
Here are some indications that your drinking may be leading to an alcohol dependency.
Alcohol Forms A Large Part Of Your Social Life
If you cannot go out for a social occasion after work or at weekends without having a drink to hand or a heavy binge, your drinking habits are out of control. While having an odd drink can be beneficial for your health, consuming a week’s worth of alcohol in a single night can be very dangerous. You may suffer alcohol poisoning, raised blood pressure and liver damage, as well as impaired senses that could place you in difficult or dangerous situations.
You Need To Have A Drink To Ensure Confidence
If you struggle with confidence and feel you need a drink when socialising with others to feel good about yourself, this can be a slippery slope.
While alcohol has been proven in studies to give people increased confidence, such a rise in self-esteem can also lead to embarrassing behaviour when you are under the influence, which you remain unaware of until you become sober.
You Lose Interest In Responsibilities And Hobbies
This is the most common sign that someone is becoming dependent on alcohol. If you are starting to phone into work more frequently as ‘sick’ after suffering a hangover from a night out, or find that you’d prefer to have a drink than participate in your favourite hobbies, then something is wrong.
If you lose interest in your job or education as a result of an overwhelming desire to drink excessively, you could have issues with alcohol that require professional help.
Your Loved Ones Are Concerned About Your Drinking Behaviours
If you start to notice that your relationships with family and friends have become strained as a result of your drinking, it is time to talk about professional help or consider cutting down on your alcohol consumption.
Do you not seem your usual self to your loved ones? Are you secretly hiding alcohol in the house, consuming it alone at any time of the day? Are you feeling isolated from the people you love? Get in touch with us at Rehab Clinics Group if you need help and support for a suspected addiction to alcohol. We can put you in touch with friendly professionals who can help you get your life back on track.
You’re Using Alcohol To Self-Medicate
When you feel down, do you automatically turn to alcohol? Have you suffered from a traumatic event in your life that you feel is made more bearable by the consumption of alcohol? It could be time for you to reassess your relationship with alcohol and consider speaking to someone about your feelings.
You Have A High Tolerance To Drink
If you have become dependent on alcohol to the point that you have to drink increased amounts to feel the effects of it, you could be on a slippery slope to severe health issues and alcoholism. If you are continually drinking more and more units of alcohol, you are risking developing heart and liver disease, as well as high blood pressure.
You are also forcing your liver to produce more enzymes to break the alcohol down. Over time, this can place great pressure on your liver as it struggles to metabolise the alcohol in your system.
If you have stopped feeling a high from drinking and are at a stage where you cannot carry out normal activities without it, it is time to take action and seek out rehabilitation through Rehab Clinics Group. We can put you in touch with the best drug and alcohol rehab clinics for you based on your needs.