When used safely, alcohol can be fun, sociable and enjoyable. It does have an impact on your health so it is a good idea to know the effects alcohol can have and where to find help locally.

How Much Can I Have?

Alcohol is measured in units and percentages. This system can make it difficult to work out how much alcohol you are having - the size of the drink doesn't give any clues to how many units it has, and drinks of the same type can have different units depending on the brand.

The new guidelines set by the Government are the same for men and women and by sticking to these guidelines you can lower the risk of harming your health. It is also advised that if you do drink this much, you should spread your drinking over three days or more.

Remember you cannot save up your units from each day to have all in one go at the weekend - this is called binge drinking

You can find more info on the new guidelines,, including a handy units calculator at Drink Aware.

If you are thinking about cutting down how much alcohol you drink the NHS Change4Life page has lots of helpful tips and information.

Alcohol & Driving

In 2014 the law changed in Scotland around drinking alcohol and driving.

The limit is 50mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood or 22 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath. Even if you’re under the limit your ability to drive safely can be impaired. Without using a breathaliser it's impossible to know how much alcohol is in your system. Alcohol affects everyone differently, so it is hard to know when you are safe to drive. The safest way is not to drink at all if you need to drive.Be aware of the effects of alcohol on your driving the day after drinking.

This tool can help you work out when the alcohol should be out of your system. WARNING: This tool is only a guide. For the average person a unit of alcohol will take 1 hour to leave the body. However this is affected by body weight, gender, strength of the drinks, how much you’ve eaten and how fast you drank. Only you are responsible for deciding how soon it is safe for you to drive after drinking. 

How do I know if I drink too much?

There are some useful apps that can help you stay in control of how much you are drinking and ensure you are staying within the guidlines: Drink Free Days Tracker.

You can use the tool below to find out if your drinking is affecting your health. If you're worried about your own drinking or about someone you know, you can contact any of the services below to ask for help:

Your local GP

It's important to be aware of how much we are drinking, this little video can help us rethink the way we think: