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While alcohol is a source of pleasure for many, it is also the cause of significant individual, social and economic harm
Alcohol is an addictive, depressant drug and a major cause of illnesses such as liver cirrhosis, cancers, heart disease, and social problems including social exclusion, unemployment, homelessness, violence, disorder, health inequality, teenage pregnancy and accidents
Alcohol is a factor in:
It has been identified that 40% of Leeds students are hazardous or higher risk drinkers. This impacts not only upon the individuals concerned who place themselves in higher-risk situations but also upon A&E attendances and policing costs in the City
When it comes to our health, it’s the effect of drinking regularly over months, years and decades that causes the most harm
It doesn’t matter whether you take it in cocktails, beer, wine, cider or lager; it’s the alcohol that counts
Alcohol affects all kinds of cells in the body, causing changes in some and stopping others from working properly. As with most ‘poisons’, the more you take, the worse the effects are
Our livers make a special substance that breaks down alcohol and burn it as fuel. But alcohol exhausts the liver’s ability to do this and too much too often can damage it permanently
Given a chance, the liver can repair a lot of damage. This is why it’s important to drink sensibly and have non-drinking days as well as not drinking too much at any one time
Alcohol is also a depressant meaning you may have less control over your emotions and reactions
If you have been advised to download a structured advice tool this can be downloaded from here.
Measuring alcohol consumption
The alcohol content of drinks is measured in ‘units’. Each unit is equivalent to around 10mls or 8g of pure alcohol. The number of units in any drink is related to the strength of the alcohol content and to the volume of the drink
A single (35ml) shot of spirits contains roughly the same amount of alcohol as a small (125ml) glass of wine. This is about the same amount of alcohol (1.4 units) as is contained in a half-pint of normal strength beer. In other words, beers are no safer than spirits. What matters is how much you drink
On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol. However, this can vary, depending on;
It can also take longer if your liver isn’t working normally
According to UK government guidelines
Sensible Drinking Tips
Alcohol and Drugs
For information about the health benefits of reducing your alcohol intake, tips for cutting down, useful contacts and the support available please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/
Forward Leeds supports adults and young people to make healthy choices about alcohol and drugs. They reduce risk-taking behaviours through dedicated prevention, early intervention and tailored programmes.
For more information, please visit https://www.forwardleeds.co.uk/
Forward Leeds run a clinic onsite at Leeds Student Medical Practice on Thursday afternoons. If you are registered with us, you can book an appointment directly into this clinic by contacting Leeds Student Medical Practice reception in person or by calling 0113 29 54488.