The traffic light system for drinking

10 December 2007
The traffic light system for drinking

GREEN: Safe Drinking

• The guidelines issued by the Government suggest that 21 units for a man and 14 units per week for a woman are safe. These should be spaced over a week and not consumed in one or two sessions.
• A unit is defines as half a pint of normal strength beer, a small glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits.
• Be aware of stronger and specially brewed beers which can contain much higher levels of alcohol.

AMBER: Unsafe Drinking

• You are consuming more than the recommended amount on a regular basis and may be starting to show the early physical or emotional consequences of this.
• You strongly reject suggestions that you have a problem, after all you "deserve a drink" and "all my friends do this as well".
• Someone may have commented on your drinking especially under some social circumstances such as large family groups or holidays.
• You are likely to show blood chemical changes due to the high alcohol intake.

RED: Dangerous Drinking

• You are at high risk of physical and emotional damage. You drink even when you know it is not safe and at levels way above the safe limits.
• Your friends and family have warned you and you may have already have experienced difficulties at work, home or even with the police. Your blood tests would show signs of dangerous drinking.
• By this stage you may not simply be able to deal with the problem yourself but may need help and support. It is vital that you have the courage to admit and confront your drinking at this stage. Being too proud or ashamed to admit you need help could cost you your life.

Alcoholics Anonymous can help 020 7833 0022

Source: Ark for Business

Visit Caterer's drink and drug campaign, Be Aware, at

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