One of the most important ways to lead change is through thinking about the effects of drinking culture in Britain.

Drinking culture isn’t just about one group of people or behaviours – it’s about how we think about alcohol, how much and how frequently we drink, and where we drink it.

Research published by Alcohol Concern suggests that “high-risk” drinking can occur in many environments, including if you drink at home or in the houses of other people. However, if drinking after work or sharing a bottle of wine with your evening meal becomes a regular part of your routine, you could be drinking to harmful levels.

  • Even if you don’t notice it day-to-day, you might be surprised by how much your routine drinking adds up to at the end of a week. For example, a standard 750ml bottle of red, white or rosé wine (13.5% ABV) can contain up to 10 alcohol units – that’s almost your full unit guideline for a week (14 units) in one go!
  • If you’re drinking one bottle five days per week, you could be drinking almost four times the safe recommended limit.
  • To try and cut down on your alcohol intake, try to swap your ordinary routine for a new hobby or activity – go to the gym after work or unwind with some soft drinks, rather than alcohol.

Young people: pressure to drink

Young people can face significant pressure to drink alcohol, particularly on nights out where they might be “expected” to drink heavily, such as birthdays and celebrations or on occasions where friends or colleagues might be pre-drinking.

Remember – drinking alcohol is a personal choice. If you’re heading on a night out, don’t be afraid to order soft drinks or alternate alcohol with water. You’ll save money, feel better in the morning and ultimately make the right choices for you.

If you are affected by a young person’s drinking, call the CGL Wakefield Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service.

CGL can provide:

  • 1:1, person-centred support for under-18s affected by substance misuse
  • Support for parents and families affected by substance misuse
  • Group sessions on cannabis, alcohol and New Psychoactive Substances
  • Specialist training programmes for professionals who work with young people

Alcohol and pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s safest to avoid alcohol. Although guidance has changed in recent years, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) recommends that an alcohol-free pregnancy is the best way to avoid putting your baby at risk. Find out more about potential risks of drinking during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant but have drunk a small amount already during your pregnancy, the risk of harm to your baby is low. However, if you need support and advice, you can speak to Spectrum’s sexual health services confidentially.