Substance Abuse

Welcome to the Substance Abuse section, you can find a range of helpful categories on the left hand side menu.

If the information you’re looking for isn’t available please give us a call on 01482 870577 or email

If the information you’re looking for isn’t available please give us a call on 01482 870577 or email

Alcohol is a positive part of life for many people and most of the time drinking alcohol doesn’t cause any problems. But drinking too much or at the wrong time can be harmful. The Government’s guidance on sensible drinking, published in December 1995, lists the following as examples of specific situations when the best advice is not to drink at all:

before or during driving;

before using machinery, electrical equipment or ladders;

before working or in the workplace when appropriate functioning would be

Adversely affected by alcohol.

Box 1 describes what happens to someone when they drink alcohol. It is easy to see from this how drinking alcohol at lunchtime or before coming on shift can affect an employee’s work performance. The effects of heavy drinking the previous night can last well into the next day.

Box 1 what happens when you drink alcohol

Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream within a few minutes of being drunk and carried to all parts of your body including the brain.

The concentration of alcohol in the body, known as the ‘blood alcohol concentration’, depends on many factors, but principally, how much you have drunk, how long you have been drinking, whether you have eaten, and your size and weight. It is difficult to know exactly how much alcohol is in your bloodstream or what effect it may have.

It takes a healthy liver about 1 hour to break down and remove 1 unit of alcohol. A unit is equivalent to 8 gm or 10 ml (1cl) of pure alcohol. The following all contain one unit of alcohol:

A half pint

of ordinary strength beer, lager and cider

(3.5% ABV)

A single

25 ml measure of spirits (40% ABV)

A small glass of wine

(9% ABV)

If someone drinks 2 pints of ordinary strength beer at lunchtime or half a bottle of wine (i.e. 4 units), they will still have alcohol in their bloodstream 3 hours later. Similarly, if someone drinks heavily in the evening they may still be over the legal drink drive limit the following morning.

I Black coffee, cold showers and fresh air won’t sober someone up. Only time can remove alcohol from the bloodstream.

Contact Numbers


Tel: 116 123

Confidential help/counselling over the telephone


Tel:  084477 9400/0161 236 81034

Young Person Helpline

free phone 0808-808-1677

Confidential help and support for the bereaved


Free phone 0808 800 1234

Information, practical advice and emotional support


Have a social work team who will offer support and advice


Free phone 0800-435-455

6pm –10pm daily


0845 123 2304

10AM – 6PM  & 7PM – 10PM