Drinking alcohol above the recommended limits can increase your risk of illness and lead to a wide range of health problems including cancers, strokes, heart attacks and increased accidents. Alcohol misuse has also been associated with risky sexual behaviour and work absenteeism. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, alcohol often makes it worse.
New alcohol guidelines
The alcohol limit for men has been lowered to be the same as for women. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guideline for both men and women is that:
- You are safest not to drink regularly more than 14 units per week. This is to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level
- If you do drink as much as 14 units week it is best to spread this evenly across the week
Drug misuse is when a person regularly takes one or more drugs to change their mood, emotion or state of consciousness. During 2010/11, there were 1,630 drug users in effective treatment in Tower Hamlets. However, there are still significant proportions (20 per cent) estimated not to be accessing treatment.
Work we are doing locally to tackle this issue
Public Health works closely with the Tower Hamlets Drugs and Alcohol Action Team to prevent and reduce the negative consequences from alcohol and drug misuse. Some of the work that Public Health undertakes includes:
- expanding the provision of drug and alcohol education in primary and secondary schools
- supporting a new model for child and adolescent substance misuse treatment
- tackling substance misuse related violence and antisocial behaviour
- improving our understanding of the profile of drug and alcohol related harm.
If you are worried about your drinking or drug use, please see your GP. There are a range of specialist services in the borough that you can also access. These services provide a variety of support including advice, counselling, group work and intensive treatment. The services listed are accessible for the families and carers of substance misusers, as well as substance misusers themselves.
Children and Young People (Lifeline Renew)
Lifeline provides substance misuse (including alcohol) related information, advice and therapeutic interventions to young people under 19 years of age.
30 Hay Currie Street
Tel: 020 7536 8869
Tower Hamlets Drug & Alcohol Service
Mile End Hospital
Tel: 020 8121 5301
You can access factsheets on alcohol consumption and substance misuse in Tower Hamlets.
The Tower Hamlets Substance Misuse Strategy 2016 - 2019 is also available to download.
Useful external links
NHS Choices contains useful information and advice as well as where to seek help for your own or someone else’s substance misuse: