Alcohol: How much is too much?

Alcohol can cause a wide range of physical and psychological damage when consumed in excess. Often individuals are completely unaware of the quantities that they consume, or the damage they are enacting on their bodies.

Alcohol: How much is too much?

Many people in the UK drink alcohol and the majority do so without any problems. Drinking can be enjoyable, sociable, and sometimes offer a way in which to unwind and relax. However, frequent and excessive drinking can cause a great deal of harm and for some drinking habits can spiral out of control and develop into dependency.

To help you assess your drinking, we invite you to have a look at the following data.

What's a unit?

Drinking units were introduced as a means of measuring the amount of alcohol in a drink.

    • Pint of 4% lager or bitter = 2.3 units
    • 175ml glass of 13% wine (small glass): = 2.3 units
    • 75ml bottle of 12% wine = 9 units
    • 25ml glass of 40% single spirit and mixer =1 unit

Percentages given in brackets refer to Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of stated drink.

How would you describe your drinking?


Questions Scoring system** Your score
0 1 2 3 4
How often do you have a drink containing alcohol? Never Monthly

or less
2 - 4 times per month 2 - 3 times per week 4+ times per week  
How many units of alcohol do you drink on a typical day when you are drinking? 1 -2 3 - 4 5 - 6 7 - 9 10+  
How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started? Never Less than monthly Monthly Weekly Daily or almost daily  
How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of your drinking? Never Less than monthly Monthly Weekly Daily or almost daily  
Has a relative or friend, doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down? No   Yes, but not in the last year   Yes, during the last year  


**A total of 5 or above indicates increasing or higher risk drinking and as such it is worth you getting this checked out with your GP and/or contacting us at Life Works. 


Alcohol can cause a wide range of physical damage such as weight problems, liver disease, strokes, cancers, memory loss, high blood pressure, and sexual difficulties.

Besides the physical harm, frequent excessive alcohol consumption can also be harmful on a psychological level resulting in, anxiety, stress, and depression.  Many report of sleep disturbances and headaches.

Physical and emotional harm aside, frequent excessive drinking can also cause personal relationships to greatly suffer, in turn exacerbating feelings of stress and depression. This vicious cycle often gain in intensity leaving the sufferer feeling helpless and unable to stop at will.

Alcohol addiction is a serious illness that, if left untreated, can result in grave consequences. Often, underlying emotional issues drive the addiction as alcohol serve to numb the pain of these issues. With specialist alcohol dependence treatment in a residential facility, addressing not only the addictive behaviour but also the underlying emotional issues, can lead to recovery. The earlier you act, the greater the likelihood of successful treatment and improved quality of life. You may feel there is little or no point in getting help – but know that this is the illness of addiction talking. By not getting help, you are exposing yourself to serious risks, to your health, your safety – and your future.

So call us today, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain!

Life Works provides first rate support and guidance in the treatment of alcohol addiction. To discuss how we can help you, please call 0808 274 3399 or click here to complete a short enquiry form.

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