Information and guidance on alcohol and how to access support
Alcohol: General Facts
The type of alcohol in the alcoholic drinks we drink is a chemical called ethanol. Alcohol may be a legal substance, however it can still be dangerous if not consumed in moderation.
It is up to an individual to make the decision about whether or not to drink alcohol. If a person decides to consume alcohol then drinking lower levels of alcohol can assist in reducing the associated risks.
The recommended guidelines for the maximum weekly alcohol consumption are:
Men- 14 units per week
Women- 14 units per week
The units should be spread out over 3 days or more. Alcohol free days should also be incorporated into the week.
How much is ONE unit?
A unit of alcohol is equivalent to 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. However, many typical alcoholic drinks contain more than this. For example:
|Type of drink||Number of alcohol units|
|Single small shot of spirits * (25ml, ABV 40%)||1 unit|
|Alcopop (275ml, ABV 5.5%)||1.5 units|
|Small glass of red/white/rosé wine (125ml, ABV 12%)||1.5 units|
|Bottle of lager/beer/cider (330ml, ABV 5%)||1.7 units|
|Can of lager/beer/cider (440ml, ABV 5.5%)||2 units|
|Pint of lower-strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 3.6%)||2 units|
|Standard glass of red/white/rosé wine (175ml, ABV 12%)||2.1 units|
|Pint of higher-strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 5.2%)||3 units|
|Large glass of red/white/rosé wine (250ml, ABV 12%)||3 units|
*Gin, rum, vodka, whisky, tequila, sambuca. Large (35ml) single measures of spirits are 1.4 units
How long does alcohol stay in your body/system for?
On average it takes a healthy liver approximately 1 hour for your body to break down 1 unit of alcohol after the first 30 minutes following consumption.
Example of Elimination:
5 x pints of 4%lager= 11.5 units = minimum of 12 hours elimination.
This means that a person could be over the limit driving the next day.
Your breath alcohol level can vary each day depending on the following:
-How much food you have consumed
-The number of units consumed
-Other substances such as medication/ drugs
Other variables include:
-Whether you are male or female
The Effects and Impacts of Alcohol
Alcohol can have many impacts on our body, mind and behaviour.
In the short term, it can lower our inhibitions so that we may behave in ways in which we would not normally. It can lead to individuals taking risks as co-ordination, vision, judgement, awareness and speech can be impaired.
Alcohol also has short term effects on our body such as an increased heart rate, rate of breathing, and in higher unit consumption (greater than 12 units) our swallowing/gag reflux can also be affected.
In serious cases, alcohol poisoning can occur which can lead to a coma or brain damage or even be fatal. Various factors such as age, sex, weight and health can influence this and there is no minimum dose of alcohol required for this to occur.
Some of the long-term impacts of alcohol include:
- Liver damage/ disease: Every time an individual consumes alcohol liver cells are destroyed. The liver can regenerate new cells, however drinking heavily or excessively over a prolonged period of time will impact/stop the liver’s ability to regenerate these cells itself.
- Cancer: There is evidence that shows that there is a link between the consumption of alcohol and cancer. 1 in 5 of all alcohol-related deaths are linked to cancer. It is one of the largest causes of death due to the use of alcohol, after intentional and unintentional injuries.
- Heart/cardiac disease: Drinking alcohol increases the chance of developing coronary heart disease. This can lead to heart attacks which is the most common form of heart disease.
- Weight gain: Drinking alcohol long term can contribute to weight gain. Alcohol is made from sugar or starch and contains lots of calories. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram.
Gaining Support and Advice
If you feel that you would like more information on alcohol, or you would like to access support please see the information/ links below:
Confidential and non-judgmental advice and support is available via our partner, Aquarius. Please contact the number below if you would like to self- refer for CONFIDENTIAL sessions with our specialist Alcohol Practitioner
All JLR sites: 0121 700 3766
Monday to Thursday 07:30-16:00
Alternatively if you are a JLR staff member and your line manager wishes to refer you to the service they can submit an OH referral form via the OH gateway portal.
The Employee Assistance Programme is also available for employees to speak to a professional for advice and signposting.
Tips for Cutting Down
Cutting down on alcohol can improve your physical and mental wellbeing. There are various ways that an individual can reduce their alcohol intake:
Alcohol Free Days
Having alcohol free days each week is a good way to assist you in reducing your alcohol intake. 2-3 days a week are advised, and after ‘heavy’ drinking it is advised to avoid alcohol for at least 48 hours.
Low Alcohol Drinks
Low alcohol drinks are beverages that contain an alcoholic strength by volume (ABV) of between 0.05% and 1.2%. This is different from those which are classed as reduced alcohol which are drinks which contain a lower ABV than that of the usual version e.g. 13% wine compare to reduced alcohol version of 5%
Low alcohol drinks can help people stay within the advised maximum weekly limit of 14 units and reduce the negative health impacts which alcohol can have on the body.
Alcohol Free Drinks/ Non-alcoholic drinks
There are alcohol free wines and beers which are available.
Mocktails and soft drinks can help reduce the intake of alcohol, however you should be mindful that some of these drinks also have high sugar contents.