Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol will not do you any physical or psychological harm. However, for some people, social drinking can lead to heavier drinking, which can cause serious health problems.

It is estimated that one in 13 people in the UK are dependent on alcohol (an alcoholic), with several million drinking excessively, to the extent that they are putting their health at risk.

The latest General Household Survey (2007) found that 37% of adults exceeded the daily recommended drinking levels (41% of men and 34% of women).

Alcoholism causes many social and health-related problems

Heavy drinking is linked to suicide, murder, fatal accidents and many fatal diseases. It can increase your chances of developing cirrhosis of the liver, and it is associated with many different types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, mouth, larynx (voice box) and liver.

As well as being directly related to many serious diseases, drinking large amounts of alcohol can also lead to poor sexual performance, and it can harm an unborn baby.

If you have an alcohol-related problem, there are many ways in which you can get help to reduce your drinking. There are also many services that can help you give up alcohol altogether.