Alcohol 

Many people in Northern Ireland drink alcohol without experiencing any problems. 

A couple of drinks can help us relax and meet new people or make a party or celebration more enjoyable.

While people may think alcohol helps them to cope with difficult situations and emotions, to reduce stress or relieve anxiety, alcohol is in fact associated with a range of mental health problems, including depression.Alcohol has also been linked to suicide. 

The Mental Health Foundation reports that:65% of suicides have been linked to excessive drinking;70% of men who kill themselves have drunk alcohol before doing so;almost one third of suicides among young people take place while the person is intoxicated.

Excessive drinking can also disrupt normal sleeping patterns resulting in insomnia and a lack of restful sleep which can contribute to stress.

Daily alcohol limits are recommended by government in order to avoid the health and social risks of excessive and binge drinking in any one session. 

These are:

Men

It is recommended that men drink no more than three to four units of alcohol a day and no more than 21 units over the course of the week.

Women

It is recommended that women drink no more than two to three units of alcohol a day and no more than 14 units over the course of the week.

Binge drinking is:

A man drinking ten or more units of alcohol in one session (as little as five pints of normal strength beer).A woman drinking seven or more units of alcohol in one session (eg three small glasses of wine and a couple of vodkas).

Tips to enjoy alcohol sensibly

Always look after yourself and try to stick to the daily alcohol limits and the tips below to be able to enjoy alcohol sensibly.
Don’t:ever drink and drive;drink on an empty stomach;drink in rounds as this may speed up the frequency of your drinking pattern;leave your drinks unattended;participate in drinking games

.Do:take sips rather than gulps;alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink eg water or a soft drink;set yourself a limit and try to stick to it (refer to daily alcohol limits);take frequent breaks from drinking to give your body time to recover;tell friends and family where you are going and who you will be with.For further information go to:

www.knowyourlimits.info





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