How do I know if I’m drinking too much? Dr Christian’s 5 steps to help you cut down by

Worried you're notching up too many units every week? Closer's Dr Christian gives his advice and tips on cutting down.


by Closer staff |
Published on

More than a fifth of people in the UK are suffering from liver damage without even being aware of it – booze is taking a heavy toll on the nation's health, and it's not just "alcoholics" who are at risk.

We all need to keep an eye on our alcohol levels for the sake of our health. If you're questioning your booze intake, you’ve already taken an important first step.

You need to be honest with yourself about how much you're drinking. A good idea is to start keeping a diary of your alcohol intake so that you can see exactly how much you are getting through.

Women should stick to 2-3 units (a 175ml glass of wine) a day with a couple of alcohol-free days a week. Set some simple rules like no drinking on certain days of the week, or no drinking before 7pm. Substitute every second drink with water, or a soft drink.

If you’re finding it really hard to cut down, it does suggest you need some help or counselling. Your GP can help directly (medication is available to help you stop or cut down) or refer you to an organisation such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Make sure you talk to family and friends too, so you have their support.

It seems an easy way to unwind at the end of a long day, but the odd glass of wine can quickly turn into a nightly habit. NHS guidelines recommend that women stick to 2-3 units a day (a 175ml glass of wine, or a pint of lager) and have some alcohol-free days a week too.

If you're worried you're clocking up too many units, here's how to cut down.

Drinking too much? Five steps to help you cut down by Closer's Dr Christian


How do I know if I'm drinking too much? Five steps to help you cut down by Closer's Dr Christian

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Be honest with yourself. Keep a diary of your alcohol intake so you can see exactly how much you're getting through in a week.

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Set yourself some rules – like no drinking on certain days of the week, no booze before 7pm, and only drinking on alternate days.

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If you're on a night out, substitute every second drink with water or a soft drink. Opt out of rounds and don't let others put pressure on you.

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Talk to family and friends so you have their support – and don't let them goad you into "one more drink". Make sure they understand you're doing this for your health and need their encouragement.

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If you find yourself struggling and think you need more help, see your GP. As well as referring you for further support, they can offer medication to reduce cravings or help you stop altogether.

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