Tough new guidelines have been issued by the UK’s chief medical officer on the recommended alcohol drinking limits and say there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking.

The guidance does not differentiate between men and women, reducing recommended intake to 14 units across the whole week. The fear was that by having a daily limit previous advice suggested it was alright to drink every day.

The new guidance makes it clear that should not happen, and there are no safe drinking levels

It is estimated that about 1 million children in the UK have at least one of their parents drinking more than is recommended.

From this figure a significant number of individuals will drink more than 60 grams of pure ethanol per day over a prolonged period of time, which under the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines corresponds to chronic and excessive alcohol drinking. This consumption equates to 7.5 units of alcohol per day, or 52 units of alcohol per week.

The new UK alcohol guidelines of 14 units of alcohol per day now represents nearly 4 times less than the volume of alcohol required to be considered as chronic and excessive alcohol consumption.

Indeed the gap between the amount of alcohol advised to be in the non-risk category to an individual’s health and the one considered as chronic excessive alcohol drinking is getting wider.

One would hope that with this new guideline in place, the incidence of an individual believing to drink moderately and (following alcohol testing) to be found exceeding the chronic and excessive alcohol threshold is less likely to happen.

If you suspect someone you love may be abusing drugs or alcohol, one way for finding out for sure is with a drug and alcohol test. Once you have the facts, you can then take the first steps towards getting them the help they need to make a fresh start for 2016.