7 million people in England go over the recommended guidelines for alcohol intake; the government guideline for alcohol is 14 units per week, which is about 6 pints of beer or cider, 14 single shots of spirits or 6 glasses of wine.
During the week or on a night out, it’s easy to lose track of exactly how much you’re drinking, but with One You Merton DrinkChecker you can stay on top of your drinking. DrinkChecker allows you to assess your overall drinking habits and gives general tips and tricks on how to cut down and stop alcohol consumption depending on what you would like to do. You can also learn facts about alcohol and the drinks you’re drinking alongside getting support and advice on alcohol consumption, regardless of whether you’re a light or heavy drinker or just worried about someone you know.
It’s important to monitor your drinking habits as consistently over-drinking can lead to alcohol dependence, otherwise known as alcoholism. There are varying degrees of alcohol dependence and not all are in the extreme form, but if you find yourself needing alcohol to ‘relax’ or always going to the pub after work for a few pints, then you might be slipping into dependence. If you often have a strong craving for alcohol and an inability to stop drinking even when it causes harm to you or others, you may be alcohol dependent. You can identify alcohol dependence if you or someone you’re concerned about displays withdrawal symptoms like sweating, shaking and nausea when alcohol has not been consumed.
Drinking alcohol excessively over a continuous period makes you up to 10x more likely to get liver disease and the most common type of liver disease associated with alcohol addiction is liver cirrhosis. This is characterised by the scarring of the liver which prevents it from working properly leading to liver damage. Alcohol also contributes to cancer, diabetes, weight gain and has an association with depression.
The One You Merton DrinkChecker website contains a quick drink test that assesses your average alcohol intake. The test is easily accessible through your computer or smartphone and the result from the test gives you straightforward advice on drinking management that is easy to follow. At the end of the test, the drink checker will also let you know how your drinking affects your health, highlighting any increased risk for alcohol-related diseases. If you are highlighted to be at risk or feel like you or someone you know is, there are tools to help with goal-setting as well as real life accounts of coping with alcohol dependence.
For more information and to get yourself in check visit the One You Merton Drink Checker
For information on the units and calories in alcohol visit our Drink Less page.
Blog written by
Abeke Lawal & Sinead Simpson,
MSc Health Psychology Students.