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When should I be worried about alcohol?

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Let’s talk about Alcohol

Recommended daily amount of alcohol:

Women AND Men: not more than 14 units per week.

In addition everyone should aim to have at least 2 alcohol free days per week.

For more information as well as unit calculators and other tools, see the drinkaware site: 


Note: These recommendations do not apply to young people as your bodies and brains are not fully developed.




woman and male units of alcohol graphic

How many units are in a drink?

500ml Can Cider: (Frosty Jacks/Diamond White) 3.8 units, 225 kcal, 7.5% ABV
Wine: (Standard Glass 175 ml) 2.3 units, 140 kcal, 13% ABV
Vodka: (25ml single shot): 1 unit, 52 kcal, 37.5% ABV
Can of Beer 400ml: (Stella/Carlsberg) 2.2 units, 182 kcal, 5% ABV
WKD/Alcopops: 1.1 units, 147 kcal, 4% ABV
Buckfast: 11.25 units, 750 kcal, 15% ABV

know your units

Getting Ready...

 Top tips from young people:

  • Make sure someone is able to contact you when you’re out
  • Make sure you know how you’re getting home and you’ve got money to get a bus or taxi
  • Don’t give into peer pressure - don’t drink if you don’t want to
  • Drink with a full stomach - always eat before you drink
  • Keep your phone on and make sure it has a charge

hot tips

Be prepared and plan ahead!

Going out is really fun. Getting ready, you'll feel excited and look forward to the night ahead.

Make sure you know where you’re going, who with, and that you have a way to contact help if needed.

Learn to be assertive to help you stick to what you want and don’t want. Speak to a teacher, worker or parent/carer if you are being pressured by anyone.

travel money and food 

Getting tipsy can be good fun, you may feel more social, chatty, more confident

Top tips from young people:

  • Make sure you’re with friends you trust and know
  • Watch how much you drink and know when to stop
  • Pace yourself and don’t drink too quickly
  • Water down your drink with mixer

hot tips

Remember your units! 

It takes the body 1 hour to get rid of 1 unit of alcohol.

If you start to feel tipsy stop drinking alcohol and swap to juice or water.

getting tipsy


Getting steaming

Alcohol can make emotions stronger or out of control -  this can lead to crying, arguments, fights and sexual attraction to people you wouldn’t normally fancy.

Top Tips from young people:

  • Look out for your mates
  • Never go away with strangers when you’ve been drinking and don’t accept opened drinks from them


hot tips

  • Stick together and lookout for one another.
  • Don’t trust strangers as it’s hard to make good decisions when you are drunk.
  • Think about getting someone to chum you home or phone someone to come and pick you up.
  • Stop drinking alcohol and drink some water. Tell someone if you don’t feel well.



When drinking causes harm:

  • Affects school/college
  • Affects relationships
  • Put on weight
  • Skin gets spotty or looks pale and ill
  • Less money
  • Moods: Anxiety/depression
  • Sexually transmitted infections, Unplanned pregnancy
  • Liver disease, Heart disease, Cancer

We can help – visit one of our drop-ins or email us:, or you can message us on FB


When alcohol causes harm

At the end of the night:

Get home safe. Drinking can make you do things you might regret like having sex without a condom.

Top Tips from young people for young people:

  • Don’t abandon your friends
  • Carry Condoms
  • Drink water before bed

You and your friends can text each other to make sure you all get home ok. If one of your friends is very drunk don’t leave them on their own – ask for help from a parent or from the police. Speak to someone you trust, come to one of our drop ins, or email us to get advice if you have unprotected sex or if you do something you regret.

end of night in bed

The next day:

Drinking can lead to a hangover, regret, memory loss or low mood

When things go wrong:

  • Remember we all make mistakes
  • If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, talk to someone and ask for help.
  • You can speak with your GP, a parent, teacher or another trusted adult. You can come to one of our drop-ins or email us for support.

everyone makes mistakes

The young people’s substance use service (YPSUS)

YPSUS is a collection of Edinburgh groups working with young people who are using drugs or alcohol.

Young People's Substance Abuse Service