Stay safe

Alcohol safety

There are always reasons to celebrate or socialise during the year. While we want you to enjoy yourself, we also want you to stay safe when drinking alcohol. If you choose to drink excessively, there may be a price to pay. You should be aware of the dangers of alcohol and the consequences of binge drinking on yourself and others.

Alcohol misuse is a factor in:

  • 40% of violent crimes
  • 39% of deaths in fires
  • 15% of drownings
  • One in six road traffic deaths

And

  • around 25% of young people get into arguments or fights as a result of drinking alcohol
  • one in four acute hospital admissions are alcohol related
  • being drunk makes you more exposed to attack, sexual assault, robbery and accidental injury.

Alcohol can make you overweight
Alcohol is extremely high in calories and can lead to an increase in weight. There are approximately 180 calories in one pint of beer. That’s the same number of calories as an ice cream. Three pints of beer total 540 calories, the same as an average meal.

Alcohol can lead to Poisoning
Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to dehydration, low blood sugar and poisoning. This is commonly referred to as a hangover.

Alcohol is metabolised almost exclusively by the liver. This means the liver is one of the first parts of the body to suffer the harmful effects of heavy drinking. It takes one hour for the liver to process half a pint of regular lager.

If you have concerns about yours or someone else’s drinking, call Ealing’s free and confidential service on 0800 195 8100

How alcohol may damage your health
Over 6,000 deaths a year are attributed to alcohol and one in ten adults in the UK is drinking at harmful levels - many of them without realising they are damaging their health. Excess alcohol consumption can seriously increase the risk of the following physical health problems:

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Cancer
  • Strokes
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastritis
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Decreased fertility
  • Impotence
  • Neurological disorders
  • Poor mental health

What is binge drinking?

  • Drinking with the intention of getting drunk, often mixing drinks
  • Drinking to the point at which you lose control
  • Drinking as much as possible in a short space of time
  • Occasional, heavy drinking.

Units
The number of units in an alcoholic drink depends on the alcohol concentration and the volume.

Daily recommended limits:

Women 2 – 3 units per day
Men 3 – 4 units per day

1 pint of 6% beer = 3 units
Single measure of 40% spirit = 1 unit
250ml glass of 12% wine = 3 units

  • Consuming your weekly allowance in one session will have detrimental effects on your health
  • Pregnant women should avoid alcohol completely.

Personal safety
During winter, more people are out  and about celebrating. Reduce the risk of becoming a victim by:

  • Keeping bags closed and carrying your wallet out of sight
  • Using cash machines in daylight or with a friend if you can
  • Keeping your mobile phone hidden and keeping calls brief
  • Carrying a personal alarm

Getting home safely
Here are some tips on getting home safely:

  • Plan ahead
  • Make your journey with friends
  • Trust your senses
  • Don’t take risks
  • Tell someone where you are going
  • Avoid drinking excessively and stay in control and alert

If using public transport:

  • Use well-lit, busy roads to get to the bus stop
  • Sit near the driver at the front of the bus
  • Use the front or middle carriages on tubes and trains
  • Stay near the ticket office until the train arrives
  • Ask for help if you need it

If using taxis and licensed minicabs:

  • For a licensed minicab, text HOME to 60835 to get a safe ride home – a list of numbers will be sent straight to your phone
  • For a black cab, call 0871 871 8710 to get a black cab sent to you. Payment can be made by cash or card
  • Never get into an illegal cab
  • Ask for a description of the vehicle picking you up
  • Get the driver to confirm your name and destination
  • Share with a friend
  • Always sit in the back
  • Trust your instincts