Alcohol Awareness Week

Alcohol Awareness Week (11-17 November 2019) is a national campaign, coordinated by Alcohol Change UK, to get people thinking about the amount of alcohol they drink.

How many units can you drink?

In the UK, men and women are recommended to consume no more than 14 units of alcohol each week. Additionally, it is advised to not save these units up for 1 or 2 days of ‘binge drinking’, but spread them over 3 or more days.1

What counts as 14 units?

Six pints of medium strength beer (4% ABV)

Six medium glasses (175ml) of wine (13% ABV)

Fourteen measures (25ml) of spirit (40% ABV)

Find out more here


Despite these recommendations, almost one-quarter of adults in England and Scotland regularly drink more than this. What is positive though, is that since 2004 the overall consumption of alcohol has fallen by around 16%.2

Alcohol and Me

The theme of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week is ‘Alcohol and Me’ to help highlight the negative effects of consuming too much alcohol.

Most people are often unaware of the number of calories they are consuming when drinking alcoholic drinks; one gram of alcohol contains 7kcal and many alcoholic drinks contain more calories due to added fruit juice or sugar. Regular consumption of these drinks can lead to weight gain, which can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other medical conditions.3

Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to dementia4, alcohol-related brain damage5, increased risk of several types of cancer6  as well as alcohol-related liver damage7.

There are many reasons that lead people to drink excessively. Some of these may be easier to address, such as social pressure or drinking to unwind after a stressful day. However, more complex reasons can result in people becoming dependent on alcohol.

This Alcohol Awareness Week why not think about the amount you, or someone close to you, drinks. Talk about the reasons this may be. If it’s social pressure, try and encourage your friends to drink a little less, or find other activities that don’t centre around drinking. If it’s to relieve stress, why not try and develop a new interest that will help you feel relaxed and be good for your health – try some meditation, writing a journal, or learning a new skill. However, if your reasons for drinking are not something you feel you can overcome by yourself, then speak to your healthcare professional for further advice and help.

Take the Quiz

Alcohol Change UK’s online quiz can help identify how healthy your drinking is, along with lots of information and support.

For Further Information

For further information please visit

Keeping gut healthy

You can also take a look at Dr Nick read’s ten tips for keeping your gut healthy here: