Drinking alcohol is part of everyday adult life in Ireland. It is used to celebrate, commiserate and to socialise. Used sensibly alcohol is a pleasurable, socially acceptable drug.
WHAT IS A STANDARD DRINK?
In Ireland a standard drink has about 10 grams of pure alcohol in it. In the UK a standard drink, also called a unit of alcohol, has about 8 grams of pure alcohol.
WHAT ARE THE LOW-RISK DRINKING GUIDELINES?
Drinks should be spaced out over the week, not consumed in one sitting. Drinking more than the safe levels may cause harm.
Remember, drinks measures are not always the same. What you get in a pub and what you pour for yourself could be very different.
These weekly limits do not apply to teenagers or to people who are pregnant, ill, run-down or on medication. It is healthier for teenagers not to drink alcohol.
WHAT IS A BINGE?
Binge drinking is a term used to describe an occasion when we drink too much. It is when we have 6 or more standard drinks. Binge drinking is a form of harmful drinking that is likely to increase our risk of accidents, injuries, violence and poisoning.
Having more than 5 standard drinks at a time can seriously increase the harmful effects of drinking.
HOW LONG DO THE EFFECTS OF DRINKING LAST?
In general you start to feel the effects of alcohol within 5 or 10 minutes of drinking. It then takes about one hour for every standard drink you take to work through your system.
TIPS FOR DRINKING LESS
Home measures tend to be a lot larger than pub ones. If you are offered a drink when visiting someone, try a bottle or a can instead of a short. It is easier to watch what you are having.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
If you are honest, you know the point where you start to lose control, or behave differently because of alcohol. Your main target should be not to have more than this.
To find out more about alcohol visit hse.ie/alcohol