Managing and Controlling My Alcohol Use

During the Coronavirus Pandemic you may have difficulties buying your alcohol.  To help prevent you experiencing severe alcohol withdrawals please follow the tips below:


  • Know the number of units in the alcohol you drink

This should be written on the side of the bottle or can and will be a picture of a bottle or glass with number inside.  This number is the number of units in that bottle or can.

e.g.      750ml bottle of vodka = 26 units

750ml bottle of 13.5% red wine = 10 units

440 ml of 4.5% lager = 2 units


  • How long do I need to wait until I have my next alcoholic drink?

As an average each unit of alcohol you drink will stay in your blood stream for approximately 1 hour.  So if you had a can of 4.5% lager you would not need another can for 1½ – 2 hours.

If you are drinking a bottle of wine or spirits you need to be aware of how much of the bottle you are drinking per day as glass sizes can differ and be hard to know how many units you are having per glass.


  • Pace and Space

When you drink, pace yourself.  Sip slowly. Have no more than one standard drink with alcohol per hour.  Have “drink spacers”—make every other drink a non-alcoholic one, such as water, soda, or juice. Your goal for average drinking time should not be less than 30 minutes per drink. Always allow time between consuming one drink before the next.


  • What to do if I have Alcohol Withdrawals?

If you start to experience hand tremors (the shakes), sweating, nausea, palpitations sip at your alcohol until the symptoms subside or have 1 unit each hour initially and then monitor the symptoms to see if you can lengthen the time between each drink  Do not let your withdrawal symptoms get out of hand but attend to them when they begin.   If you start to experience palpitations, visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not actually real) or seizures (fits) please go to A&E or phone 999 (unless you are experiencing a high temperature and a dry persistent cough then phone 111 for advice and explain all your symptoms including withdrawal).


Please do not stop drinking alcohol completely if you are alcohol dependent. Call  us at GDAS if you would like to get some support for your alcohol use or for more advice.