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Alcohol Facts: What do you know?

Alcohol Facts: What do you know?

Alcohol plays a big part at Christmas time, parties, company functions, weddings and other events. But it’s easy to enjoy yourself and not think about what alcohol is doing to your body. Regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week risks damaging your health. There is no safe drinking level, drinking less than 14 units a week only puts you at a ‘low risk’.

Alcohol is a factor of more than 60 medical conditions, including high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and depression.

What is alcohol?

Wine, beer, ciders and spirits all contain alcohol. Alcohol in our drinks is a chemical called ethanol. Alcohol is made up of fermented grains, fruit and vegetables, barley and rye.

What is an alcohol unit?

One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, units are the best way to determine how strong your drink is. For an average adult, it takes about an hour to process one unit of alcohol until there’s none left in the bloodstream.

What is alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol is a drug, therefore it is a poison and can have lethal consequences if abused. Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body has consumed more alcohol in a short time than it can process. If an individual consumes more alcohol before the body has had a chance to break it down, that alcohol remains in their bloodstream, increasing their BAC (blood alcohol concentration)

What are the symptoms?

  • Seizures
  • Blue-tinged or pale skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Loss of coordination
  • Irregular/slow breathing

What are the effects of alcohol?

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Poor sleep
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure – leading to stroke or heart attack
  • Rosacea
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain

If you are a very heavy drinker or an alcoholic, seek professional advice and support from your GP or an alcohol service before attempting to go teetotal, as withdrawal symptoms can pose a risk to health.

If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s drinking habits, you can visit www.drinkaware.co.uk for help, advice and tools.

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