Alcohol and Substance Misuse


A healthy, balanced diet is important and, as part of a healthy lifestyle, it’s worthwhile knowing and keeping within the lower-risk drinking guidelines. This can help us avoid the negative health effects associated with excess drinking and decrease our risk of serious, long term harm.

Current statistics suggest 43% of adults drink above the guidelines in Wrexham (Welsh Health Survey 2011) and, with consumption increasing steadily over the past decade, deaths and disease linked to excess drinking are on the rise. Alcohol related chronic disease is costing the NHS in Wales £70-£85million each year.

How alcohol can negatively affect your health and wellbeing…

Regardless of age, problem use of alcohol can cause serious social, psychological and health problems, affecting work, social and personal relationships. These include: liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, reduced fertility, depression, anxiety and unwanted weight gain

Its important to remember ‘binge drinking’, a phrase used to describe drinking too much alcohol over a short period of time, is a risk to health and can sometimes result in intentional / unintentional injuries, unplanned and unprotected sexual activity and other risky behaviours.

Information on myths about alcohol and drinking (external link).

Units of alcohol in popular drinks…

330ml bottle of strong lager, beer or cider (ABV 5.2%) = 2.7units
One pint of strong lager, beer or cider (ABV 5.2%) = 3 units

One small (125ml) glass of wine (ABV 13%) = 1.6units
One standard (175ml) glass of wine (ABV 13%) = 2.3units
One large (250ml) glass of wine (ABV 13%) = 3.3units
750ml bottle of wine (13%) 9.8 units

A small pub measure (25ml) of spirits (40% ABV) = 1 unit
275ml bottle of alcopop (ABV5.5%) = 1.5 units
50ml glass of liqueur (ABV 20%) = 1.5 units
ABV (alcohol by volume) is the percentage of alcohol in the drink
(Source Change4Life and British Dietetic Association)

How to monitor your drinking habits

If you want to become more aware of your drinking habits, why not complete a ‘drink diary’.

If you find you are drinking above the recommended guidelines and want to lower your intake why not…

(Source Change4Life)

The Change4Life Campaign provides useful advice on the benefits of cutting down, information on alcohol and pregnancy, and how alcohol interacts with medication visit

Further advice and support is also available by visiting:

Substance Misuse

The term Substance Misuse is used to describe the use of illegal drugs or the use of prescribed or over the counter medication, which are being taken at doses higher than what has been recommended by a doctor or pharmacist.

 A drug is a chemical substance that acts on the brain and nervous system, changing a person’s mood, emotion or state of consciousness.

Drugs are often classified by the effect they have.

One of the biggest risk of substance misuse is that you can develop an addiction. There are two main types of addiction:

Physical addiction: when there are withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or cramping, if the supply of the drug is suddenly withdrawn

Psychological addiction: when there is a psychological compulsion or need to regularly use a drug. If the drug is withdrawn, there are no physical symptoms but there may be psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety and irritability.

For help and advice contact the Wales Drug and Alcohol helpline on  0800 633 5588, this is a 24 hour 7 days a week helpline.

Wales Drug & Alcohol Helpline

The Wales Drug & Alcohol helpline service, hosted by North Wales NHS Trust and funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, is a free and bilingual telephone helpline providing a single point of contact for anyone in Wales wanting further information or help relating to drug or alcohol issues.

The helpline will assist individuals, their families and carers to access appropriate local and regional services.

The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Freephone: 0800 6 33 55 s88

Useful Links

Young People's Drug and Alcohol Service - PDF format 2.2Mb Young Person's Drug and Alcohol Team - We provide a free and confidential service to young people aged 11-18 years

Young People's Drug and Alcohol Service (poster) - PDF format 1.1Kb

In2Change Referral Form - PDF format 120Kb

DUST Pre-intervention form - PDF format 116Kb

Alcohol Concern - Alcohol concern provides a number of fact sheets on all topics relating to alcohol.

CAIS - Local help for problems caused by the misuse of alcohol and drugs.

Talk to Frank - Information on the dangers of drug abuse.