Most of us like the occasional drink. But, it can be easy to overdo it and alcohol can be linked to a variety of medical conditions.

This doesn’t mean you should stop drinking, but you should be aware of how much you’re drinking and put in place a few simple measures to help you stay in control.

hat’s why we’ve put together our guide on how to stay safe while drinking.

Our Top Tips to Help you Stay Safe While Drinking:

  • Set yourself a limit of how much you’re going to drink before you start
  • Try to have at least one soft drink or glass of water with each alcoholic drink
  • Instead of drinking pints or large glasses of wine, go for halves or bottles of beer, or ask for wine in a small glass
  • Drink at your own pace, don’t try to keep up with other people or dink in rounds
  • Why not dilute your drinks? Try have a spritzer or a shandy
  • Sit while your drink, rather than standing as this can help you drink more slowly
  • Stick to the current guidelines on how much you should drink a week

What are the Current Drinking Guidelines?

The Chief Medical Officer’s current guidelines for adult men and women who drink regularly or frequently, most weeks, include:

It’s safest not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis, a unit is:

  • Slightly less than half a pint of standard beer or lager (4% ABV)
  • A single shot (25ml) of sprits (40% ABV)
  • Slightly less than half of 175ml of wine (13% ABV)

If you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week, it’s best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days.
If you want to cut down, a good way to achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week

Drinking while on medication

Our Pharmacist, Gordon Heeley’s advice on drinking and medication:

Make sure you always check whether it is safe to drink with your medication, regardless of your age. Alcohol can interact with a variety of medicines and can increase the likelihood of falls, sleep disturbance, confusion, drowsiness and sedation. For example, antibiotics can be affected by alcohol.

It’s worthwhile to check with your Pharmacist whether it is safe to have a drink with your medicine, particularly when on several medicines, so you can avoid any potential interactions. It’s best not to miss your medication in order to have a drink, as you could be causing yourself harm

Consider if you might have a problem with drinking

To find out if you may have a problem with alcohol, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you regularly exceed the recommended weekly alcohol limit
  • Do you find it difficult to stop drinking once you’ve started
  • Are you always thinking about when you’ll have your next drink?
  • Do you ever feel guilty about how much you drink or feel you should cut down?
  • Do you only consider socialising if alcohol is involved?
  • Do you often find you can’t remember what happened while you were drinking?
  • Do you need drink first think in the morning to help with hangover symptoms or to steady your nerves?
  • Have you missed important events of appointments because you’d had too much to drink or were hung-over?
  • Do you feel shaky, sweaty or nauseated and then feel better after having a drink?

Talk to your GP if any of these apply to you.

Do you want to know how drinking can interact with the medicines you’re on? Find your local Lloyds Pharmacy here.