What should you know about alcohol?

Alcohol is a legal drug and due to this fact perceptions of the dangers of alcohol are often underestimated. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to a range of conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol poisoning, inability to socialise or work and can lead to destructive behaviours such as violence or drink-driving. Due to the high calorie content of alcohol and the types of food eaten with or after consumption, another outcome of excessive consumption can be weight gain and obesity.

What can you do to improve your care?

Both men and women are not recommended to regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day or 14 units in one week. It is very easy to exceed this recommendation even in a short drinking session.

Tips on cutting down

  • Limits - Before you start drinking, set a limit.
  • Budget - Only take a small amount of money out to spend on alcohol.
  • Friends - Let your friends know your cutting down and get them to support you.
  • Time - Small reductions each day add up over time.
  • Size - Smaller is better, opt for bottled beer or pour smaller measures when at home.
  • Strength - Go for the beer or wine with a lower strength (ABV %)
  • Hydration - Quench your thirst with soft drinks before you start drinking. Break up alcoholic drinks with soft drinks in-between.
  • Have a day off - Try to have the odd day without an alcoholic drink
  • Have a month off - Take part in a Dryathalon (no alcohol during January)

Watch your waist

It is important to be aware of the calorific content of alcoholic beverages. A pint of beer can be more calorific than a packet of crisps. Drinkaware tools (which can be found on our Alcohol and Drugs portal page) help calculate units and calories in our favourite drinks. If you have a BMI of 30 or more you can get a referral from your GP to the local Slimming world service (free of charge).

If you are looking to lose and/or manage your weight Slimming World can help you to maintain a balanced and nutritional diet and reach and stay at a healthy weight by providing weekly local weight loss support groups.

If you meet set criteria then you may be eligible for a free referral to Slimming World. Referrals are made via Bracknell Forest GP practices, stop smoking service and children centres. This will enable you to access a free 12-week course to Slimming World if the programme criteria are met. For further information please email

If you feel that drinking is or is becoming a problem, there is a free, confidential and local drug & alcohol serviceavailable to you.

Contact details for local services

  • Slimming World - Tel: 0844 897 8000
  • Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) - New Hope, Broadway, Bracknell, RG12 1AR | Tel: 01344 312360 | Email: