Doctors call for stricter Alcohol guidelines

Doctors at Alcohol Research UK have called for the creation of new guidelines that describe a consumption level of alcohol that should not be exceeded. Binge drinking is a problem in the UK and information relating to how much alcohol the body can handle could make people think twice before pouring another drink.

A leading figure at Alcohol Research UK this week called for changes in guidelines and limits set out by the Department of health. Professor Nick Heather stated that the current directives do not take into account the problems of binge drinking. He put forward that there should be two be two types of limit: one which dictates how much people can safely drink "on average", and one which should "stipulate an amount that should never be exceeded"

Weekly limits do not take into account binge drinkers

The department of health currently states that women should not exceed 18 units and men should not exceed 21 units of alcohol per week. It also states that no more three or four units are advised.  Professor Heather feels that this does not take into account the behaviours of binge drinkers. What binge drinkers tend to do is abstain from drinking in the week, and save up all their units until the weekend in the mistaken belief they are still keeping within accepted limits. Professor Heather proposes that there should also be a limit for how much a person can drink safely in a single day. For instance, the guidelines would state that no more than eight units should be drunk in a single day. Professor Harvey has gained a lot of support for his ideas as they help to define the difference between the damage caused by habitual drinking and frequent excessive drinking.

However there is still the question as to how much people actually take notice of these guidelines laid down by the Department of Health. It is true we all need to adhere to limits set down for drinking and driving, but in order for a community to change its drinking habits it will need more than new guidelines and limits to alter how people abuse alcohol and suffer from the consequences. Perhaps a campaign and promotion putting forward the way in which social drinking behaviour can cause spiritual, social and physical damage would also be necessary if any changes are to be made.

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