‘Know Your Units’ alcohol campaign launched in community pharmacies across Northern Ireland

Louise Roberts and Lorraine Hawkes from Clear Pharmacy in Bangor help launch the Know Your Units alcohol campaign.

The campaign aims to increase awareness of the Chief Medical Officers’ alcohol guidelines of no more than 14 units per week and the health risks associated with drinking in excess of these guidelines. It will run throughout June and July in community pharmacies and is part of the ‘Living Well’ service. This service is a partnership between the Public Health Agency (PHA), Community Pharmacy NI (CPNI), and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), providing information and advice to customers on public health issues in over 500 community pharmacies across Northern Ireland.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit their local community pharmacy for advice and to pick up free materials, including a Know Your Units calculator and a guide to alcohol and health.

Jayne Laughlin, Superintendent Pharmacist at Clear Pharmacy Bangor, said: “If you are one of the many people who drink alcohol, it’s important to get to know your units so you can better understand how much you are drinking. Drinking in excess of 14 units per week can have health risks, but small changes in how much you drink can make a big difference in reducing your chances of developing alcohol-related problems.

“Call into your local community pharmacy for your free unit calculator. It’s a handy device and will help you keep track of the number of alcohol units you consume on a weekly basis. ”

Alcohol limits and unit guidelines

Published by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers, the low risk drinking guidelines are for men and women aged over 18 years who drink alcohol. The medical guidelines explain low risk drinking but don’t mean drinking alcohol is safe.

The medical guidelines give advice on:

  • how many alcohol units you can have in a week to lower the risk of harm
  • single session drinking
  • not drinking alcohol when you’re pregnant

UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines

Test your alcohol intake with our interactive virtual bar.  Simply drag your drinks onto the bar and discover more on your alcohol intake.

There is no immediate way to sober up. It takes time for your body to process alcohol. The morning after a heavy night’s drinking, you are likely to have a high concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream.  You may not be sober or safe to drive a vehicle. The legal alcohol limit for driving measures the amount of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine.

Ready to make a change? Visit our ‘Self-help’ section for more information, tools and tips.

Talk to someone, you are not alone.

Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and help, in confidence.

Deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users can call Lifeline on 18001 0808 808 8000. Calls to Lifeline are free to people living in Northern Ireland who are calling from UK landlines and mobiles.

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