AHA UK response to the chief medical officers' alcohol guidelines review

The Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA UK), which brings together 46 organisations, including the RCP, in order to reduce the damage caused to health by alcohol misuse, comments on the clarity and practicality of the new UK chief medical officers’ alcohol guidelines.

Summary

  • The weekly guideline is extremely clear in communicating you are safest not to drink regularly more than 14 units, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.
  • The new guidelines communicate clearly the risk of a number of cancers increases from any level of regular drinking - there is no level of drinking that can be considered as completely safe.
  • The recommendation for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy to not drink any alcohol at all is clear.
  • The advice on single occasion drinking is clear - it is advisable to spread this drinking over 3 days or more and have ‘alcohol free days’. It is communicated clearly if you have one or two heavy drinking sessions, you increase your risks of death from long term illnesses and accidents and injuries.
  • The guidelines are clear in stating people have a right to accurate information and advice about alcohol and its health risks, and there is a responsibility on government to ensure the information is provided for people, so they can make informed choices.

Contact

For more information please contact Laura McLeod, Alcohol Health Alliance policy and advocacy manager, by email on lmcleod@alcoholconcern.org.uk or by calling +44 (0)20 7566 9804.