Suzanne Chamier
Suzanne Chamier. Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Psychotherapist.

York Clinic’s Suzanne Chamier has a lot of experience of working with people who want to cut down or give up drinking. Through counselling and/or hypnotherapy she can help you to understand your relationship with alcohol and the effect it has on your life. Then, as you begin to cut down, she can help you to replace drinking alcohol with new, healthy and positive habits.

There is a lot of information out there about alcohol, often generating more questions than answers. This can make it difficult to know whether and when to seek help. The answer is simple: you can ask for help or advice at any time. If you’d like to make and appointment with Suzanne, please contact the clinic on 01904 709688. Further contact details can be found at the bottom of this blog.

The rest of this blog will address two of the other questions frequently asked about alcohol: How much is too much? And why is that too much (i.e. what might happen to me)?

How much is too much?

The government has recently issued new guidelines. They state that there’s no safe level of alcohol consumption, but suggest that neither men nor women regularly drink more than 14 units per week [2]. Units represent the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink. One unit is roughly the amount of alcohol that an average adult can process in one hour. This varies from person to person, but, in theory, if a healthy adult drank one unit of alcohol, there should be little or no alcohol left in their blood after an hour [1]. Here is a guide to what units mean in terms of individual drinks [3]:

Alcohol units guide

So 14 units looks like this [2]:

new-unit-guidelines-infographic-V10_500x1182

There are times when even a small quantity of alcohol might become dangerous, such as when you’re driving or operating machinery, if you’re pregnant or breast feeding (the recommendation is not to drink any alcohol at all during pregnancy), if you’re taking certain medications (check with your doctor), or if you cannot control your drinking [2&3]. As well as keeping to a weekly limit, it is recommended that at least two days of the week are alcohol-free. Binge drinking is considered to be drinking twice the daily limit in one sitting (8+ units for men, 6+ units for women) [4].

The effects of alcohol on the body

Some of the effects of excessive drinking are well known, such as mood swings, aggression, dehydration, memory loss and impotence. However, the potential effects on the body are more far reaching than you might imagine [5]:

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

The potential benefits of cutting down your alcohol consumption are numerous, including better sleep, reduced risk of injury and illness, weight loss, increased energy, improved memory, saving money, and better relationships with friends and family [3].

What to do next

If you’d like help with cutting down on alcohol, dealing with an alcohol addiction, or would just like to talk to Suzanne for professional and confidential advice, please make an appointment by contacting the York Clinic on 01904 709688. Reception is open from 9am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays. Alternatively, email us at email@yorkclinic.com or use our contact form. We will respond to you as quickly as possible.

References and links to further information:

  1. NHS guide to alcohol units.
  2. Image/information from the Drink Aware website.
  3. Image/ information from ‘How Much is Too Much?’, a leaflet produced by the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University.
  4. For more information, please see the NHS webpage about binge drinking.
  5. Image from the World Health Organisation’s ‘Brief Intervention Manual’.