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Alcohol and drinking

Alcohol and drinking


Alcohol – maybe you’ve tried it, maybe you haven’t. If you are going to have the occasional drink, you need to be smart about it. Sure, it might give you a bit of a confidence boost, and be fun, but sometimes it can make you do things you don’t want to do and put you in situations you don’t really want to be in.

Drinking too much can leave you vulnerable. Make sure you’re always in control because, whatever happens, it’s you that has to live with the consequences.

Find out all the facts about drinking and how to stay safe at Drinkaware.

Alcohol Awareness Week 2012

Alcohol Awareness Week: 19 to 25 November. If you're concerned about your own or someone else's drinking, it's time to think about why we find the problem so difficult to talk about.

Advice on drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol can be especially harmful if you’re under 15, so it is recommended that you don’t drink at all if you’re under this age.

The most recent government advice for young people and their parents about alcohol was published in December 2009 by the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson.

His recommendations are:

  • Children and their parents and carers are advised that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option. However, if children drink alcohol, it should not be until at least the age of 15 years.
  • If young people aged 15 to 17 years consume alcohol, it should always be with the guidance of a parent or carer or in a supervised environment.
  • If 15 to 17 year olds do consume alcohol, they should do so infrequently and certainly on no more than one day a week. Young people aged 15 to 17 years should never exceed recommended adult daily limits and, on days when they drink, consumption should usually be below such levels.

Find out more about Guidelines on drinking for under 18s.

Unit guidance

  • Adult female – should not exceed 2 to 3 units of alcohol in any one day.
  • Adult male – should not exceed 3 to 4 units of alcohol in any one day.

You can find out more about the daily recommended units for adults at NHS Choices.

Help and Advice

If you want more information or advice about alcohol or drugs, or if you are worried about a friend or someone in your family, you can get help from the Under 19s Substance Misuse Service (U19s SMS).

Find out more at Get help with drug or alcohol problems.

You can always get someone else to contact us for you, like a parent or youth worker.

Deciding not to drink

Remember that it’s not weird or unnatural to choose not to drink alcohol. More and more young people are deciding not to drink at all, even if they are over 18.

The decision is yours.

Did you know?

There are 260 calories in two glasses of wine. That’s the same as a hamburger!

Real life story

Joe's story

Joe began drinking heavily and soon his life was spiralling out of control. Read his story

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