During your time at university, you may form a relationship with alcohol. For some people, it might be a quiet drink in, or others it might be a big night out. It's important to know your limits, be aware of the effects and identify when you might be drinking too much or too often. 


What are the limits?

The NHS advises people not to drink more than 14 units a week. 1 unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol, to put that into an everyday context;

  • Half a pint of low-normal strength cider, beer or lager is 1 unit (ABV 3.6%). 
  • Single-shot of spirits is 1 unit (25ml, ABV 40%).
  • A small glass of wine is 1.5 units (125ml, ABV 12%).

Many factors will determine how alcohol affects you, such as your body weight and metabolism, be mindful and do not feel pressured to keep up with others.


How Often?

NHS guidelines say that it is best to spread out your drinking across the week and to have a few days where you do not drink at all. Drinking a lot in one go, known as binge drinking, can cause significant damage to your health, well-being and can cause a whole host of social problems. 


The Short-term Risks

Some of the short-term risks of alcohol misuse include:

  • Injuries requiring hospital treatment.
  • Being a victim of violence.
  • Engaging in unsafe sex.
  • Loss of personal possessions.
  • Alcohol poisoning.
  • People who binge drink (drink heavily over a short period of time) are more likely to behave recklessly and are at greater risk of being in an accident.


The Long-term Risks

Some of the long-term risks of alcohol misuse include an increased risk of:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis


For some students, their nightlife can revolve around drinking, and they will drink more than is recommended. The key is to drink responsibly; aim to have a good time without risking your health or safety and look out for yourself and your friends.

We've put together a list of online resources where you can learn more about alcohol, its effects and how to get support.  



A free and bilingual telephone drugs helpline providing a single point of contact for anyone in Wales wanting further information or help relating to drugs or alcohol.



Find out everything you need to know about drugs, their effects and the law. Talk to Frank for facts, support and advice on drugs and alcohol.



Information about alcohol misuse from the National Health Service.