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*UPDATED* Hospital visiting changes, home testing kits, Vaccine info, general info and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.

Know your numbers before the party season kicks off

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Christmas party season is almost upon us and health experts at NHSGGC are warning us to know our numbers before we head out.

Alcohol has an important but complicated place in Scottish culture as part of people’s social lives and celebrations and also as part of the economy through industry and tourism. There are some positive things about drinking responsibly as part of social occasions. 

More recently, there has been a lot of focus in the press, TV and radio on the issue of alcohol consumption and the problems it seems to cause.  So what is the official advice?

NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health, Linda de Caestecker said: “We all know there are recommended weekly guidelines for alcohol and these have been around for many years They were updated almost three years ago, with no more than 14 units in a week being recommended for both men and women now.

“As we head into December, lots of us will be thinking about Christmas parties, perhaps with colleagues, pals and of course the big day itself with families. But this is a message for all year round and it’s important people know the guidelines and the risks they may face if regularly drinking more than that.”

To help you through the party season and beyond, we’ve devised three top tips for low risk drinking:

  • To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. 
  • If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of death from long term illness and from accidents and injuries. 
  • On a night out try to spread out your alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water. By staying hydrated you will feel much better in the morning!

It’s also really important to know how many units are in each drink. This handy chart will help you keep track of your number:



1 average cocktail

3 units

1 pint cider (5.4%)

3 units

1 large (250ml) glass (12%) wine

3 units

1 small glass of fizz (12%)

1.5 units

1 pint beer/lager (5.4%)

3 units

1 25ml pub measure spirits (40%)

1 unit


Linda added: “If you think you are regularly drinking too much and would like to change your drinking habits, there are a few things you can do to help yourself. Confide in or talk to a friend, colleague or someone you trust about ways you could tackle this. It’s also helpful to keep a drinks diary for a month to record where, when and how much you drink as you could be underestimating it

“Lastly, consider laying off alcohol for a while to give your body time to recover and you time to think about your alcohol use and what changes you want to make whether it be drinking less alcohol, drinking less often or maybe stopping drinking completely.”

For more information, please visit:


For further media information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]




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Last Updated: 28 November 2018