Alcohol Information - Facts, Effects, Statistics, Signs and Symptoms
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Alcohol Information - Facts, Effects, Statistics, Signs and Symptoms

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    Alcohol information Overview

    This alcohol information page contains alcohol statistics, facts, effects (both short and long term), signs and symptoms of use, info on drink driving (otherwise known as DUI or DWI), how long alcohol is detectable, and a whole host other useful information.

    We also offer a range of alcohol test kits to detect alcohol in breath, saliva or urine.  These tests are in the form of either test strips, disposable breathalyzer units or electronic breath alcohol tests.  If you would like to buy alcohol testing kits online, please visit out alcohol testing page.


    Alcohol Statistics:  Road deaths due to alcohol

    Alcohol is a commonly abused substance that contributes to many thousands of deaths each year.  In the USA alone, alcohol is responsible for over 17,000 deaths on the roads due to drink driving (DUI or DWI) - which is 41% of all USA road accidents.  Unfortunately, more than half of those accidents are caused by people who are repeat offenders.

    Don't risk drink driving!

    One detailed survey of over 8000 young motorists (aged from 17 to 24) carried out by Auto Trader, which is a UK motoring magazine and website, showed a frightening trend towards driving under the influence of either drugs, drink or both.

    In today's drug abuse and binge drinking culture amongst young adults and teenagers it is unfortunately no surprise that the statistics are high.  In fact, as many as 17% of the young motorists surveyed admitted regular use of Cannabis, more alarmingly 12% frequently use the dangerous and addictive class A drug Cocaine, and 10% revealed regular use of Ecstasy.  However, the greater danger comes from upwards of 10% admitting that they regularly drove their cars whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

    When questioned about driving under the influence of substances, over 40% felt fine to drive their vehicles after using illegal drugs and 31% found it acceptable to drive after consuming alcohol.  A high proportion were unaware of the actual legal limits for alcohol consumption when driving and as a result 8% had already been involved in an accident while under the influence, with a further 11% admitting a near miss.


    Binge Drinking and Underage Alcohol Consumption

    Notable recent statistics also include the number of younger teenagers using drink or drugs. Last year one in seven people admitted to Accident and Emergency departments across the UK for alcohol related health issues were under 14 years old - a total of over 2239 cases.

    Please also see our Tackling Drug Addiction - for Parents and Families page for more information.


    Alcohol Related Deaths on the Increase

    A recent report from the Office for National Statistics has shown that alcohol related diseases in the UK are killing nearly twice as many women as at the start of the 1990s.

    Approximately 30 years ago, alcohol related death rates for men and women in the UK were around two per 100,000, which was the lowest in western Europe. Now, the rate for men is 18 per 100,000, although this is still less than the European average.

    For women, particularly In the 35 - 54 year old age group, around 14 women per 100,000 die from conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure – and this is well above the European average.

    Spain, France and Ireland still consume more alcohol per person than the UK, but deaths from alcohol-related diseases are much lower. Perhaps this is attributable to a culture of binge drinking.

    Experts attribute the marked increase since 1990 onwards to the general public having more disposable income, drinks costing less since the introduction of the European single market, and extended opening hours for pubs, nightclubs and off-licences.

    Gordon Brown has indicated that reducing alcohol abuse in the general public is amongst his priorities and is requesting a focused review of the recent rules concerning 24-hour opening hours for pubs and off-licenses. This coincides with his plans for the Home Office to facilitate a crackdown on retailers who sell alcohol to minors and people who are obviously already intoxicated in the run up to Christmas.



    Alcohol Information:

    Although alcohol is a legal substance used by many, there is clear and undisputed evidence that it impairs the user and can often be abused or misused. Accordingly, there is a legal drink-driving limit of 80 mg/dl or 0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) enforced by law in the UK and USA.  To follow is a range of alcohol information, such as how long does alcohol stay in your system, alcohol effects, alcohol facts and information on alcohol awareness training courses and policy development for the workplace.  For information on the legal drink driving limits for your country, please visit our Drink Driving Limits for DUI / DWI page.


    How long does alcohol stay in your system?

    Alcohol is broken down by the liver at the rate of approximately one unit per hour (a pint of normal strength beer being two units). Consequently, it is possible to still be under the influence the following morning if you have drunk excessively the night before. In fact, every year in Britain over 25,000 people lose their driving licences the morning after a night's drinking.

    To exercise caution, the following alcohol calculation can be used to estimate your level of risk after having drunk the night before.


    1 Unit of alcohol = ½ Pint ordinary strength beer



    1 standard glass of table wine



    1 standard glass of sherry



    1 single measure of spirits.


    It is advised that you allow a minimum of 1 hour per 1 unit of alcohol consumed before driving or operating heavy machinery or electrical equipment in order to ensure that you are not under the influence of alcohol.

    This simple formula will help:

    Number of units drunk - Number of hours since last drink = Alcohol content

    For example: A person drinks 6 pints of an ordinary strength beer (12 units) finishing drinking at 11pm. They start work at 8am the following day. (9 Hours later).

    12 Units - 9 hours = 3. In this scenario, the person could still have 3-4 units of alcohol left in their body whilst driving to work the following day - risking both Police prosecution and the safety of others. 3-4 Units will bring most people to the UK legal driving limit. Please exercise caution.


    Information on Alcohol Effects

    The effects of alcohol abuse are numerous.  Visit our effects of alcohol page for more information.  However, a brief overview on alcohol effects are as follows:

    Medical experts agree that there is no strictly "safe" level of alcohol consumption.  Binge drinking dramatically increases people's tendency toward taking risks, reduces their inhibitions, slows their reaction times and affects co-ordination, putting them at greater risk of accidents and criminal or otherwise inappropriate behaviour.

    In the longer term, regular alcohol consumption increases your risks of: liver damage, cancer (of the liver, mouth, throat, and breast), mental health problems, weight gain, heart disease, stroke, shrunken genitals and reduced fertility.  Alcohol reduces your body's ability to absorb nutrition, and the weight gain can also contribute to other conditions such as diabetes.


    Alcohol Facts

    If you would like to read some of the most recent alcohol facts and alcohol statistics, visit our page on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Young People.


    Alcohol Awareness Training and Alcohol Policy

    As a company, we are frequently called upon to help develop alcohol policies for use in the workplace, which of course has to be supported by alcohol awareness training.  In today's culture however, providing alcohol information, alcohol awareness training and policy development is incomplete without similar reference to drugs.  More people die on the roads and in the workplace from drug related accidents than from alcohol related accidents, so a broad view should be taken even if you don't believe drugs are an issue.  Visit our drug and alcohol awareness training and consultancy page for more information or contact us for free advice.


    Legal Drink Drive Limits for DUI / DWI

    For information on the legal drink driving limits for your country, please visit our Drink Driving Limits for DUI / DWI page.  We have details of the legal alcohol limit for many different countries and states, along with information on open container laws, forfeiture of vehicle, etc.


    Free Training in Alcohol Testing Procedures:

    Drug-Aware™ drug and alcohol test kits are very easy to use, but in any technical field there are often many surrounding issues of which to be aware. How long are different drugs and alcohol detectable? How might patients attempt to influence their alcohol test results? How can you prevent this? In our free training sessions, we cover these topics and much more to arm your team with the knowledge they need to operate a successful testing programme.

    These sessions are designed specifically to assist those carrying out alcohol screening using Drug-Aware test kits but they are different from our comprehensive drug awareness seminars or policy development seminars which are often bespoke sessions designed to suit the needs of individual organisations and include a wealth of additional useful information.  Ask us for more details!


    Support: Alcohol Test Kits & Breathalyzer Alcohol Test Equipment

    At Drug-Aware Ltd, we pride ourselves on our level of customer support and firmly believe that our clients should see us as their long-term partners in patient care. We are considerably more than just a wholesale supplier of test kits!  On that basis, we offer all of the support, training and product guarantees that you could need:

    Alcohol Information - Facts, Effects, Statistics, Signs and Symptoms

       Free samples - so you can try before you buy.  (Available to Companies and healthcare organisations rather than private individuals).


      Free literature - wallcharts, consent forms, procedures, technical data, information and more.


      Free rapid delivery (within the UK) - products despatched free of charge within 24 hours, unless otherwise notified.


      Free training (within the UK) - we are happy to visit your premises to train and certificate your team in rapid drug and alcohol testing and the surrounding issues.


      Free technical support - e.g. How long is alcohol detectable in the body? Procedural assistance, etc.


      Product guarantees - we operate a no-quibble refund or replacement scheme if the products fail to meet their specifications.


      Laboratory support - we offer the services of a UKAS accredited laboratory to conduct routine screening tests or to confirm the results of Drug-Aware™ products.



    Please contact us today for free product samples and assistance from a friendly expert.

    For technical information on various other drugs and more information relevant to drug testing, please visit our drug information section. We even offer Saliva Drug Tests for Oral Fluid Drug Testing.

    For more information on the literature and accessories that we can provide to support our drug and alcohol testing products, please visit our testing accessories section.

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