Swanswell urges drinking re-think following report from MPs

09 January 2012

Swanswell’s welcoming recommendations from a group of MPs for people to have at least two alcohol free days a week – but says it should be an opportunity for everyone to re-think their drinking habits.

Swanswell, a national charity wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to recommendations in a report by the Common’s Science and Technology committee.

It says there are ‘sufficient concerns’ about drinking recommendations and questioned whether the current recommended daily limits of 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women ‘appeared to endorse daily drinking’.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Although the advice to have at least two alcohol free days is not new, we welcome this opportunity to raise awareness of the harms that alcohol can cause.

It’s also a chance for people to stop and  think seriously about how much alcohol they drink and how regular drinking over time can be as dangerous to health as binge drinking.

Alcohol is not like vegetables – you don’t need the equivalent to your five-a-day and there are no clear health benefits from drinking any amount of alcohol.’

The report, released today, also highlights problems when it comes to understanding how many units there are in a drink; something Swanswell raised in October .

We believe units are too confusing and hard to work out – there needs to be a simple, clear message that acts as a guide for safer alcohol use. For example, one or two, once or twice a week.

However, ultimately the decision about how much someone drinks rests with the individual but clear messaging will help people make informed decisions about their alcohol use.’

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