Alcohol relaxes the brain and body which some people find pleasurable. Many people find that moderate drinking (a unit or two of alcohol a day – a unit is a small glass of wine, or a half pint of normal strength beer or lager, or a pub measure of spirits) helps relieve stress, encourages relaxation and acts as an appetite stimulant. However, its effects can also alter mood and lead to physical, psychological and social problems.
Recommendations are that men should not drink more than three to four units of alcohol per day. For women, the daily recommended limit is two to three units. Drinking your entire weekly recommended limit in one session (often called binge drinking) is not recommended as it can lead to poor co-ordination, vomiting, exaggerated emotional reactions (including sadness, tearfulness, anger and aggression) and can lead to unconsciousness. Women who are pregnant or planning to become so, are advised to avoid alcohol.