Christmas Alcohol Advice

04th December 2018

The Christmas period is only around the corner, and other than food and work stress, what else comes in an excess during this time? Alcohol. With so many social events, Christmas parties and work nights out in the calendar, many of us tend to drink considerably more in December, compared to the rest of the year. Whilst Christmas is an enjoyable and merry time, it’s important to be aware of the risks of drinking too much, and how to avoid ‘over-doing-it’.

Scary Stats

  • 1.4% of all deaths are related to the consumption of alcohol.
  • Around a quarter of the British workforce admitted to driving to work the morning after drinking whilst feeling over the limit.
  • 24% of adults in England regularly drink over the Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines.
  • Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages.
  • Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression.

The Guidelines

It’s definitely not a new idea that we should be monitoring how much we drink, but how much is in a unit, and how much is too much? In the past, the drinking guidelines set out for men and women differed. However now, the limit for men has been lowered meaning that both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. You should spread your drinking over at least 3 days if you regularly consume 14 units a week, and we should all try and have several drink-free days each week. If you fail to follow these guidelines, you’re putting yourself at risk of developing various health problems and get involved in accidents.

Do You Know How Many Units Are In That Drink?

So you know the limits, but the next tricky thing to work out is actually how many units are in each drink – as it can get confusing!

  • A single shot of spirits (25ml) 1 unit
  • A standard glass of wine (175ml) 2.1 units
  • A large glass of wine (250ml) 3 units
  • A bottle of lager/beer/cider (330ml) 1.7 units
  • A can of lager/beer/cider (440ml) 2 units
  • A pint of higher-strength lager/beer/cider 3 units

According to NHS guidelines.

So How Do You Stay ‘Responsible’?

We’re not telling you the information above to encourage you to stop drinking, we’re telling you to help you stay responsible over the Christmas period – so you can enjoy those festive nights out! Follow some of our top tips to stay safe:

  • Stick to the guidelines
  • Stay aware and in control of your drinking
  • Avoid drinking and driving
  • Have a majority of alcohol-free days
  • Have soft drinks in-between your alcoholic ones to help your body to stay more hydrated
  • Never drink on an empty stomach
  • Drink slowly to give your body a chance to flush harmful toxins from the body
  • Before drinking at Christmas parties, make sure you check your drug and alcohol policy guidelines. If you are operating machinery, there will be a 0 policy against alcohol – don’t take the risk!

If you would like more advice on staying responsible during the Christmas period or need some help with maintaining your drug and alcohol policy in the workplace, get in touch with our team. We’re here to help!

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