Booze – how much do you drink, and how much is too much?
A new two-minute online test – found at www.croydon.gov.uk/dontbottleitup – offers Croydon residents a simple health check on how much alcohol they are drinking.
The Don’t Bottle It Up test is linked to a one-stop-shop website offering confidential advice, information and support about alcohol – from binge drinking and hangovers, to getting help and cutting down generally.
The test alerts users to how risky their drinking habits may be, ranging from “lower risk” to “high risk of causing harm”. And on-the-go drinking levels can be tracked, and reduced, using the DrinkCoach app.
The recommended maximum alcohol limits are:
- three to four units a day for men – that’s about a pint of strong lager or cider; and
- two to three units for women, which is no more than a 250ml glass of 12% wine.
The best way to stay healthy is to drink no more than the sensible drinking guidelines and to give your body a break by having at least two alcohol-free days every week.
Alcohol misuse is England’s third biggest risk factor for illness and death. Regularly exceeding the recommended limits is linked to health problems including some cancers, high blood pressure, liver damage and heart disease, as well as an increased risk of injury. It can significantly affect mental health and negatively impact the drinker’s social life.
The Don’t Bottle It Up website has been introduced to the borough as part of the work being undertaken for the Croydon local alcohol action area (LAAA). Led by the Home Office, the LAAA is a local partnership between the council, police, alcohol support and treatment teams, the Clinical Commissioning Group and those representing pubs and breweries, to help tackle alcohol-related problems and the damage caused to people’s health.
“Most people don’t know how much is too much, but we do know that alcohol misuse causes harm to individuals’ health and well-being, can affect families and also damages communities through crime and violence.
“This is why we’re taking action to promote sensible drinking habits in Croydon. The Don’t Bottle It Up alcohol test is quick, easy and confidential.
“The entire website is for everyone, whether they’re a high-risk drinker, drink occasionally on a night out, or have a few quiet drinks at home. The test offers immediate personalised results, and ideas for what to do next – such as making a plan for reducing alcohol intake or finding out where to get a bit of support locally.
“As long as people manage their alcohol intake sensibly, it’s not all bad news.”
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member people and communities