Is your binge drinking dangerous? The 10 signs you’re at risk as British women named world’s worst culprits | The Sun
BINGE drinking is often seen as a part of British culture — and women in the UK were this week ranked as the worst boozers in the world.
A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found women in Britain and Denmark drink the most out of a group of 33 countries.
Around 45 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women in the UK are binge drinkers, according to the research.
The NHS defines binge drinking as “drinking heavily over a short space of time”.
This means drinking more than eight units — three pints of 5 per cent beer — in a session if you’re a man or six units — two large glasses of wine — if you’re a woman, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The health service recommends adults do not drink more than 14 units a week, the equivalent of six pints of lager or one and a half bottles of wine.
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Experts warn regular binge drinking can be dangerous to your health, increasing the risk of a range of serious conditions.
In the short term, these can include injuries like car crashes, being the victim of violence, sexually-transmitted diseases and alcohol poisoning.
Binge drinking over the long-term can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, liver disease, pancreatitis, brain damage and liver, bowel, mouth and breast cancer.
Signs you are drinking too much include hand tremors, sweating, hallucinations, depression, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
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You could be misusing alcohol if you feel like you need to cut down, have been criticised about your drinking, feel guilty or bad about it or need a drink first thing in the morning, according to the NHS.
While the OECD report revealed how much Brits booze, separate research by Forbes Advisor shows many Brits are keen to cut down on their drinking.
Kevin Pratt, life insurance expert at the company, said: "Our British Booze Index reveals that alcohol plays a significant part in the lives of people throughout the UK, across both genders.
“However, a substantial portion of the UK female population — 42 per cent — are keen to reduce their alcohol intake, signalling an understanding of the importance of moderation.”
He added: "It's good to see that awareness of the potential repercussions of binge drinking on both physical and mental health is on the rise.
“This is evident in the popularity of initiatives like Sober October and the traditional post-festive season detox month, Dry January.
“Equally, amid the challenges of the cost of living crisis, which involves escalating alcohol taxes and, in certain areas, the implementation of minimum unit pricing, the financial aspect of drinking has a significant impact on consumption levels.”
If you are concerned about your or another person’s drinking you can contact your GP.
Help is also available from charities including Drinkline, Alcohol Change, Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon Family Groups.
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10 signs you are drinking too much
According to the NHS, you could be drinking too much if:
- You have hand tremors – "the shakes"
- You have excessive sweating
- You see things that are not real (visual hallucinations)
- You suffer depression
- You suffer anxiety
- You have difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- You feel you should cut down on your drinking
- Other people have been criticising your drinking
- You feel guilty or bad about your drinking
- You need a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover
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