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Chiltern District Council
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Alcohol Advice

Most people who have alcohol-related health problems aren't alcoholics. They're simply people who have regularly drunk more than the recommended levels for some years.


The NHS recommends:


  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day.
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day.

'Regularly' means drinking these amounts every day or most days of the week.

Regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits risks damaging your health.

There's no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink less than the recommended daily limits, the risks of harming your health are low.

And it's certainly not only people who get drunk or binge drink who are at risk. Most people who regularly drink more than the NHS recommends don't see any harmful effects at first.

Alcohol's hidden harms usually only emerge after a number of years. And by then, serious health problems can have developed.

Liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, increased risk of various cancers and heart attack are some of the numerous harmful effects of regularly drinking more than the recommended levels.

The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink. The more you drink, the greater the health risks.

Drinkers can be divided into three risk categories:

  • lower-risk drinkers
  • increasing-risk drinkers
  • higher-risk drinkers

Read about alcohol units to work out how much alcohol there is in your drinks.

For more information visit the NHS Choices.  The website provides information on services near you, what's in a unit and tips on cutting down.