Have you found yourself drinking more during the pandemic and you’d like to start cutting back? If so, you’re not alone –an estimated 1 in 3 North East drinkers cut down or stopped drinking alcohol during the spring / summer lockdown.


We know that drinking too much can have serious effects on our health in the long-term, but you might also find that it’s having an impact now. Alcohol can make us feel tired, put on weight, affect our decision making and also impact on our finances.


What might start as a regular glass with dinner can quickly turn into a whole bottle or several pints, and over time this can take a toll. On these pages you’ll find tips and resources to help you cut down, as well as information on how to access support if you need it. 


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Alcoholic drinks contain calories but often they have no nutritional value. If you’re trying to reach a healthy weight, don’t forget about these hidden calories in your drinks – some are quite surprising!

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  1. Try not to stockpile alcohol. Limit the amount of alcohol you buy in and opt for non-alcoholic drinks to help you stay within the 14 unit low-risk weekly guidelines.

  2. Having at least three drink-free days every week can help you cut down on how much you’re drinking. Visit to download the free Drink Free Days app from Public Health England.

  3. You can track your units, calories and money saved when you cut down or cut out alcohol through the Try Dry app from Alcohol Change.

  4. The Drink Less Feel Good campaign can also help you see how many calories are in your drinks:

  5. Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks.

  6. Use a measure to pour your drinks – home-poured measures are often a lot more generous than those you’d get in the pub and contain more units and calories than a standard measure.

  7. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can be tempting to turn to alcohol to help you relax. But here are some top ways to unwind from Alcohol Change UK that don’t involve alcohol

  8. When it comes to alcohol and young people, parents often find it confusing to know what to do for the best. The safest option is to follow the Chief Medical Officer guidelines that it is safest and healthiest for children to not drink before the age of 18. For advice every parent needs to know visit Almost 30% of people aged 16-24 do not drink at all – an increase from 16% in 2005, which suggests a changing attitude towards alcohol amongst young people.

  9. Think about being a good role model to your kids around alcohol, which includes how often and how much you drink alcohol.

  10. Finally, if you are concerned about your own drinking, support is available through Occupational Health. The national alcohol helpline Drinkline is also available on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm). 

Dry January

Start 2021 the best way possible with Dry January – the UK's one-month alcohol-free challenge. Get your fun back. Get your energy back. Get your calm back.