Substance misuse

Use this guide to find help and support in overcoming alcohol and drug-related issues.

Where's the danger in a drink?

Alcohol is linked to more than 60 illnesses, like diabetes and breast cancer.

Excess drinking piles on body weight, hurts your finances and can also damage your working and home life.

It can have very serious long-term health effects, such as:

  • personality changes
  • difficulty thinking
  • depression
  • memory loss.

Find ways to drink less and its benefits

The recommended guidelines

The UK's Chief Medical Officer's latest guidelines on alcohol consumption can help you check that you're drinking responsibly:

  • Men and women shouldn't drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
  • Don't drink all of the units in one go.
  • Spread your units of alcohol out over three days or more (take a day off between drinks).
  • Eat when you're drinking, and drink water too.
  • Pregnant women should avoid drinking altogether.

Are you at risk?

Alcohol services

If you are worried about your drinking, there are services available to help:

However, you don't have to be a heavy drinker to want to cut down your sugar and spending. Take control of alcohol by:

  • keeping a diary of when and what you drink, to track your drinking habits
  • avoiding buying rounds when out with friends
  • taking alcohol-free days
  • drinking halves instead of pints, or smaller glasses of wine
  • having a meal before you drink
  • trying low-alcohol drinks
  • getting sponsored to stay sober for charity (Dry January or Go Sober for October).


  • Drink Free Days - is a simple and easy way to track the days you drink alcohol and the days that you don't. Feel healthier, lose weight and save money.
  • The DrinkCoach App - provides a way to track and change your drinking for free.