Staying Safe

If you're going to drink

The best advice for your health is not to drink alcohol until you're 18. If you do choose to drink before then, remember to:

  • make sure you're with a responsible adult who will stop you doing anything that could be dangerous
  • never drink more than once a week
  • never drink more than the recommended number of units in a day

Boy holding a bottleIf you do decide to drink here are some helpful tips on how to drink responsibly:

  • Eat something first, then alcohol will enter your bloodstream more slowly because the food helps soak it up.
  • Decide how much you want to drink and when you're going to stop.
  • It's a good idea to have a soft drink/water between alcoholic drinks – then you won't end up too dehydrated.
  • Try to have standard-sized drinks so you get a better understanding of how many units of alcohol you've had.
  • If you go out and drink, make sure you know how you're getting home and always have some money put aside for a taxi – just in case.
  • Tell your parents or carers as well as your friends where you're going before you go out.
  • Have a number for a trusted cab company with you before you go out.

If you are going to drink, it's a good idea to try and keep an eye on how much alcohol you're consuming. Because drinks come in all shapes and sizes, it can be tricky to keep track of your units. Check out the tools below which can help you add them all up:

Try out the NHS units calculator

Or you can download a desktop alcohol tracker. It can calculate alcohol units, keep a personal drinks diary on your desktop and provide feedback on your drinking over time.

If you have an iPhone or iPod touch you can download the free NHS Drinks Tracker from the app store straight from your phone. It allows you to keep a drink diary and get feedback on your drinking.

Find who can help with alcohol here.

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