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HealthMatters: Alcohol

How much alcohol is too much alcohol?

You may decide that when you are at university that you will drink alcohol - either for the first time or maybe a lot more than you have previously done. 

The NHS recommend that men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. When we think about the fact that a strong pint of lager contains about 3 units of alcohol, that might shock you because it may not sound an awful not for a night out with friends. 

Research shows that more and more young people and adults in the UK are drinking less, and even going tee-total. However, trends still show that when young people do drink, they tend to binge drink i.e. not drink anything for a while and then drink lots in one go. Sound familiar? 

Here at MDX, we recognise that having some drinks with friends is a normal part of university life. It is also very normal to not be interested in drinking at all. Both choices are okay. But if you are choosing to drink, do so safety and within reason. Think about your safety and the safety of your friends around you. Watch out for each other on nights out and be particularly vigilant for drink spiking. If you come home with a friend who is drunk and goes to bed, put them in recovery position. Do not let them sleep on their back because if they vomit they may choke and die. If you are worried about a friend, call 111 for advice or 999 in an emergency. It is better to call - be safe and not sorry. Read more about how to help somebody who has drunk too much here. 

And of course, if you feel that you need additional support around your drinking, you can speak to the Counselling and Mental Health Team (link on the homepage) or speak to the Westminster Drug and Alcohol Project who do monthly drop in confidential support sessions on campus. Contact the Counselling and Mental Health team reception for more information on upcoming dates. 

Take the Drinkaware self-assessment 

Check out Drinkaware's tips on how to stay safe and well at university if you choose to drink

Read about student drinking culture and trends