Questions & Answers

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I drink 4 pints a nite. Every nite. Done this for the last 15yrs. Is this 2 much?

It is recommended that we look at limiting our alcohol intake to 14 Units per week, with two to three days alcohol free. (A unit is a half pint of beer/lager at approx. 4% ABV.) This is to give you and your body a rest, you should also be aware of the binge effect. The break from alcohol is important to your body.

The Chief Medical Officers advice is based around risk factors, around cancers that alcohol has affect upon. This includes, Liver, mouth and gullet. The risk effect increases the more you consume, so this new guidance helps us make decisions on our drinking behaviours.

We can and many people do change their drinking habits, please look at some of the advice in the pages on this website. If you feel you are drinking too much you can contact TCA (Tayside Council on Alcohol) or look at getting the drinks calculator from

How much sugar is there in alcohol?

Being high in sugar, alcohol contains a lot of calories. The high levels of sugars in alcohol drinks can lead to increased weight, leading to heart and type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. You should read ‘drinkaware’ if you would like more information on this subject. So some alcohol might taste ‘bitter’ but still have high sugar rates, and remember this is before you might add a mixer which can also be high in sugar.

What long-term damage could legal highs do to my mind?

The short answer is we really don’t know, as we have not had the time to fully study these substances. But we do know that they ‘mimic’ other drugs and they take certain routes around your brain to create the desired effect.

We do know that if people who do not get sleep or their brain does not ‘rest’ they can suffer issues around ‘drug induced psychosis’, this is not pleasant to watch. We are aware that there has been an increase in people attending mental health facilities due to their use of ‘NPS/Legal Highs’.

We also know that people have attended hospital due to overdose of some of these substances, getting treated for overdose in a hospital is not a pleasant experience for the individual or their family. Because it’s legal does not mean it’s safe.

Should I use ‘legal highs’ instead of illegal drugs?

The simple answer is no, it is known that some people chose to use Legal Highs because they believe that they won’t get prosecuted under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. But some of the substances have been tested and found to contain illegal drugs, therefore you are committing a crime. Also some overdoses are related to the belief around the ‘illegal’ drug these mimic, because it might take more time, people use too much and end up overdosing.

Importantly most music festivals in the UK have effectively banned ‘Legal Highs’ (NPS), so if you have them on you will probably get kicked out the festival or the police might arrest you until they test the substance. Thus a lose, lose situation.

Importantly this is not recommending using the illegal drug either, as if you get caught with a Class A drug you will be dealt with by the police for possessing/supplying a Class A drug.

What is the drug classification system?

The Drugs Classification System is the system that the UK uses to ‘Classify Harms’ that drugs might cause the person using them and society. If a Drug has no medical use in the UK, even if it is used in other countries it will be illegal, so Ecstasy is a Class A drug in the UK. The classes also reflect the criminal penalties that you face, class A being the most severe.

Importantly there is a difference between simple possession and supplying a drug. If you have a drug on your person, even though it is not your drug, you can get charged for possession.

Can I get support for Legal Highs in Perth

Yes you will find a range of services that provide support for people who are using ‘Legal Highs’, on our help and support pages you will find information about various services. You might want to think about the service you want to talk to depending on your age, so if you are younger CAIR Scotland and TCA have services, there is also @Scott Street if you like to talk to a youth worker. There is also a drop in clinic at Drumhar ‘Cool to Talk’ for under 18 year olds. If you are a longer term user and might be mixing these drugs with illegal drugs, you would be more than welcome to visit Highland House, which has a whole range of services that can support you. If you have IV used these drugs and are having any issue please contact the NHS services located at Highland House or Drumhar HC. There are a range of ‘booklets’ that provide advice on all Legal Highs/NPS and the various methods of use and the range of affects. Please see CREW2000 or Scottish Drugs Forums Websites. Or ask Chemical Bob and directions to support both local national or on-line can be provided.

Can I save all my units up over the week and drink them all in one go? (That is 14 Units for Men and Women)

Units in the UK, the original idea was designed to give a ‘daily limit’ of 2-3 units for women and men, with at least two days off drinking. With 14 units being agreed by the Chief Medical Officers. This is based upon ‘risk-factors’ around illness and cancer in particular.

With changing drinking patterns people tend to drink at the weekends, the idea is not to save up units, this is because if you do you tend to binge, which is seen as drinking just over twice your daily units.

So the answer is this is not advisable, as if you drink more, you are more liable to have accidents, be ill or get into fights. The risk factors increase the more you drink, you loose co-ordination and sense of proportion, you are liable to harm yourself, you should certainly not drive or work machinery or on holiday go swimming. In Perth & Kinross Alcohol and Fire Deaths are closely related, so is drowning’s in rivers like the Tay, which is one of the fastest flowing rivers in the UK, this makes it really cold at all times. For further advice on this you can contact Fire & Rescue at or call 01738-475260

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