What is safe or healthier drinking?
Plan to have at least two alcohol-free days every week.
And when you do drink, keep to:
- Two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week.
- Three standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week.
Reduce your risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking by drinking no more than:
- Four standard drinks for women on any single occasion.
- Five standard drinks for men on any single occasion.
Keeping to these levels makes for a better night out – and a better day after. It reduces the likelihood of suffering a hangover or unpleasant post-drinking experience.
Do you know what a standard drink looks like? Find out more..
When not to drink
Avoid alcohol if you:
- Could be pregnant, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
- Are on medication that interacts with alcohol.
- Have a condition made worse by drinking alcohol.
- Feel unwell, depressed, tired or cold as alcohol could make things worse.
- Are about to operate machinery or a vehicle or do anything that is risky or requires skill.
- If you are under 18 - the safest option is to delay drinking for as long as possible. Find out more
Negative effects of alcohol
Heavy drinkers (people drinking more than 10-15 standard drinks per week) are potentially at risk of:
- Increased risk of breast and oral/throat cancers.
- Liver disease - cirrhosis and hepatitis.
- Chronic gastritis and pancreatitis.
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Impaired brain development until early 20s.
- Psychological impacts - cravings, irritability, depression, anxiety, panic psychosis, hallucinations, sleep disorders.
Check out our tips to drink better