Accessibility statement and options
Text size:
Please review and correct the information below.

Alcohol and Recreational Drugs


Enjoying a drink

Lots of adults enjoy drinking alcohol from time to time, but drinking too much can be very damaging to your short and long term health. It’s important to understand how alcohol can affect our health and well being, and know how much it is safe to drink.

There is no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink less than the recommended daily limits, the risks of damaging your health are low.

The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink; the more you drink, the greater the health risks.

Sensible drinking guidelines

Official guidelines recommend that men shouldn’t regularly drink more than three to four units a day and women shouldn’t regularly drink more than two to three units a day because of the harm this may cause.

Guidelines also state that you should have at least two alcohol-free days each week, and recommend that after an episode of heavy drinking, it’s advisable to refrain from drinking for 48 hours to allow the tissues in your body to recover.

What is a unit?

One alcohol unit is measured as 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. The number of units in a drink is determined by the size and strength of the drink.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as one drink, one unit, and the alcoholic content in the same types of drinks can vary a lot.

More information on how to calculate units on the NHS Choices website.

Am I drinking too much?

Most people will be fine if they drink within the sensible limits for regular drinking, but for some people, drinking gradually gets out of control.

Psychological and physical dependence on alcohol can creep up on you, especially if you drink excessively on a regular basis.

Tolerance can gradually increase, meaning that you need more alcohol to reach the same state. In other words, if you feel that you are getting better at holding your drink that could be a sign of a developing problem.

Use this simple and confidential online test, to understand if you are drinking at a sensible level

Alcohol and the law

There are strict laws governing the sale and consumption of alcohol in the UK.

The government  offers clear guidance on issues relating to drinking and young people, drink driving and drinking in public. A blood alcohol content calculator is also available which assists in working out when a person is 'alcohol free'.

More Information on UK guidance around Alchol here

National support

If you are concerned about your own drinking or worried about a family member or friend and need help or advice, you should contact the Drinkline, on 08009 178 282.

Recreational Drug use

The term ‘using drugs’, is often referred to as substance misuse and, when we think about the word drugs we often think about

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis
  • Ecstasy

We also think of drugs such as spice which is often mentioned in the media.
However, there are other drugs that we may come across more often such as prescription medications that can also be abused like -

  • Painkillers
  • Sleeping tablets
  • Medicines for the treatment of anxiety and depression

It is important that you are aware of the impact drugs may have on your body, both in the short term and what the likelihood will be with prolonged drug taking.

One of the most common features with regular drug taking is addiction. This is where your body gets so used to having the drug in its system that it starts to rely on that substance in order to function. This can cause a lot of long term health issues which in some circumstances can result it illness and even death.

Talk to Frank

Frank offers free, friendly practical confidential advice around drugs. Their online website has an A - Z of different types of drugs and the effects they can have on a person. You can check current news stories and you can learn about people’s experiences.

Visit the Frank website to find out more

You can contact Frank by –

  • using the online chat (between 2pm and 6pm everyday of the week)
  • telephone: 03001 236 600 (24 hours a day 365 days a year)
  • text: 82111
  • Frank’s online contact form

Drug and Alcohol use and Mental Health

Recreational drug and alcohol can have negative effects on your mental health. Mind has produced an information booklet that you can access using the link provided which explores the impact alcohol and drugs can have on a person.

Find out more about Mental Health and recreational drug and alcohol here

Drug and Alcohol service for adults


CGL ReNew is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults (including offenders), families, carers and affected others in Hull.

Their Early Intervention service works with people before drug and alcohol becomes a problem so that it helps to reduce harm and improve health. Their Structured Treatment service can help you to drug or alcohol free, which includes medical interventions if appropriate.
CGL ReNew’s dedicated Independent Family Service can help anyone affected by a loved one's drug or alcohol use.

Visit the ReNew website to find out more

To understand your own levels of alcohol or drug use, complete a self-assessment here

If you are 18 or over and would like to speak to somebody about your drug or alcohol use you can contact CGL ReNew by –

Support for Young People


ReFresh is a young people’s drug and alcohol service providing confidential support for young people up to 18 who live, study or work in Hull.

ReFresh knows that if you are having problems with drugs or alcohol you may well be having difficulties in other areas of your life. We have helped lots of young people improve family relationships, secure somewhere stable to live, get support with school, college or work and make positive use of their time.

ReFresh can offer you:

  • A space to talk & someone to listen
  • Advice and information on reducing and using safely
  • Health checks (including sexual health, safer injecting, testing & treatment for blood borne viruses)
  • Help to deal with cravings, controlling tension & reducing anxiety
  • Help with emotional and mental health
  • Help to improve family relationships

You can access the services via – 

Alternatively you can visit them in person between Monday to Friday, 12.30 and 2pm and ask for a Refresh worker. They are based at -

Kenworthy House

98-104 George Street



Parents/carers and professionals can also seek advice or support if they are concerned about a young person.

Last reviewed: 11/02/2019