This weekend, as we celebrate the early May bank holiday, many of us will take the extra day to socialise and have a drink with friends and family.
While a tipple or two is a common part of socialising, it’s important that we know our limits and enjoy drinking safely.
Here are my top tips to watch the booze this Bank Holiday:
Know your limits
Both sexes should never drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spread over three to four days.
Alcohol and your body
If you drink too much alcohol often, you will put your health at risk..
Heavy drinking can increase your risk of developing a wide range of cancers and is a risk factor for liver disease, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and depression, amongst others.
Alcohol is one of the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK, after smoking and obesity.
Are you drinking too much?
More than nine million people in England drink more than the recommended weekly limit. Many are unaware that they are drinking too much.
If you feel you should be cutting down or people have criticised you for the amount you drink, you might need to cut back.
Cutting down and cutting out
Use a drink tracking app or drink diary to track how much you are drinking.
Regularly drinking a little too much can be easily solved with lifestyle changes, like using smaller glasses, interchanging each alcoholic drink with a soft drink and choosing lower strength drinks.
If you’re concerned about your or someone else’s drinking, talk to your GP or online doctor. They will be able to discuss what treatments are available and refer you to the correct services.
Charities such as Alcohol Concern or Alcoholics Anonymous can provide confidential advice and support.
:: Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a GP with the NHS and Pharmacy2U, an online service which provides free, fast and convenient delivery of NHS repeat prescriptions.