Updated guidelines on alcohol welcomed by Fife service

The manager of Fife Alcohol Support Service has welcomed the publication of updated guidelines on alcohol consumption by UK chief medical officers.
The manager of Fife Alcohol Support Service has welcomed the publication of updated guidelines on alcohol consumption by UK chief medical officers.

The manager of Fife Alcohol Support Service has welcomed the publication of updated guidelines on alcohol consumption by UK chief medical officers.

The new guidelines suggest recommended drinking limits should be cut and the UK’s chief medical officers say new research shows any amount of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer.

The new advice says men and women who drink regularly should consume no more than 14 units a week - the equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine. While the guidelines say pregnant women should not drink at all.

And it also says that if people drink, it should be moderately over three or more days and that some days should be alcohol-free.

Jim Bett, service manager at Kirkcaldy-based Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS), said: “I am very encouraged that following a two-year expert review of the scientific evidence, the UK Chief Medical Officers have published updated alcohol consumption guidelines.

“Their guidance makes it crystal clear to all concerned that there is no completely ‘safe’ level of alcohol consumption, since cancer risk increases even at low levels of consumption.

“There is also no justification for recommending drinking on health grounds as previous evidence is likely to have over-estimated the protective effects of alcohol for the heart.”

Mr Bett’s comments were endorsed by John Hamilton, FASS chairman, who added: “To keep health risks to a low level, both men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week. “Drinking should be spread over three days or more, and having several alcohol-free days a week is a

very good idea and is also a good way to cut down.”

Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS) is one of the many alcohol and public groups now calling for consumers to be better informed through compulsory health warning labels on all alcoholic drinks and also calling for a public information campaign.

Mr Hamilton added: “At FASS, we can give significant help to anybody who is in the position of drinking too much or drinking too frequently and wants to take better charge of their lifestyle and either reduce or eliminate all the various problems created by alcohol from their lives.” For anyone wishing to contact FASS, the first stage is to call (01592) 206200.

FASS runs free and confidential counselling throughout Fife to assist anybody who has a problem with alcohol.