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'Social drinking': the hidden risks

If you think only alcoholics and binge drinkers are putting their health at risk, think again. Many people who see themselves as "social drinkers" are at risk of developing long-term health conditions because of the amount they regularly drink. Most drinkers are unaware that regularly drinking more…

Addiction

Addiction is a strong, uncontrollable need to take drugs, drink alcohol or carry out a particular activity, such as gambling. It becomes the most important thing in your life and leads to problems at home, work and school. There's no single reason why addictions develop. Some…

Advice for families of drug users

Lots of families in the UK are living with a loved one who is using or trying to come off drugs. If you're the parent, partner, child or carer of a drug user, you may feel worried, frustrated and alone. It's important to recognise this and get the help and…

Alcohol misuse

Alcohol misuse means drinking excessively - more than the lower-risk limits of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is measured in units. A unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol, which is about: half a pint of normal-strength lager a single measure (25ml) of spirits A small glass (125ml) of wine…

Alcohol support

Realising you have a problem with alcohol is the first big step to getting help. You may need help if: you often feel the need to have a drink  you get into trouble because of your drinking other people warn you about how much you're drinking…

Alcohol units

We're supposed to be keeping an eye on how much we drink, but how many of us really know what a unit of alcohol is? With so many different drinks and glass sizes, from shots to pints - not to mention bottles - it's easy…

Binge drinking

Binge drinking usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk. UK researchers commonly define binge drinking as consuming more than six units of alcohol in a single session for men and women. Six units is equivalent to drinking…

Calories in alcohol

Did you know a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a pint of lager has about the same calorie count as a packet of crisps? The average wine drinker in England takes in around 2,000kcal from…

Cannabis: the facts

Cannabis (also known as marijuana, weed, pot, dope or grass) is the most widely used illegal drug in the UK. The effects of cannabis vary from person to person: you may feel chilled out, relaxed and happy some people get the giggles or become more talkative hunger…

Caring for an alcoholic

If you're a carer for a problem drinker, finding help can be a frustrating experience. People who care for problem drinkers sometimes have to struggle to get the recognition and support they're entitled to. "They have not always been perceived as 'legitimate' carers," says Drew Lindon…
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