Alcohol advice and support

Drinking alcohol above low risk levels can lead to a wide range of health and social issues, including significantly increasing your risk of liver disease, a number of cancers, mental health conditions including depression and anxiety, accidents and injury and a range of sexual health problems including decreased fertility.

It can also lead to a number of social and relationship problems, including the breakdown of family relationships and friendships, decreased productivity at work, financial problems, increased rates of crime, violence and house fires.

For information about alcohol and the harm associated with it, visit Alcohol Change.


Find out how risky your drinking is

Many people underestimate how risky their drinking is. In Hackney, more than 70% of residents who drink alcohol and think their drinking is roughly or just a little more than is good for them, are actually classed as high-risk drinkers when assessed.

Take the alcohol test.


The test is anonymous and is effective in detecting hazardous or harmful drinking. Following the test, you will be offered information and advice tailored to your alcohol consumption.

Low risk drinking guidelines

The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women states that:

  • to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. One unit is 10ml of pure alcohol. This is equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or 6 175ml glasses of average strength wine
  • if you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it’s best to spread your drinking evenly over 3 or more days
  • if you’re pregnant or think you could become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum

For more information about drinking guidelines and understanding units visit Drink Aware.

Help and support in Hackney

Your GP

Your GP can provide confidential advice and refer you for extra support.  If you’re not registered with a GP, you can find one on NHS UK.

Hackney’s alcohol service

102-110 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 3SG.

Delivered by Turning Point in partnership with Mind CHWF and Antidote, City and Hackney Recovery Service offers free and accessible substance misuse support and treatment to all Hackney residents.

Experienced staff within City and Hackney Recovery Service understand people have different support and treatment needs around alcohol use and provide a full range of services from brief advice to help you cut down, to participating in more structured treatment, one-to-one support and clinical services.

Referrals into detox and rehabilitation services are always made as part of a care package to prepare individuals for inpatient treatment and to ensure there is aftercare for sustained recovery.

City and Hackney Recovery Service prioritises providing support for carers and families, and delivering excellent women-only services, LGBTQA+ specific services, rough sleepers services, clear pathways from the criminal justice system into treatment, education and training, benefits advice and re-integration activities. Recovery workers also deliver treatment in partnership with your GP.

For more information

You can also make a referral or self-refer.


Young Hackney Substance Misuse Service

Young Hackney’s Substance Misuse Service provides information, advice, support and counselling to young people aged 6 up to their 25th birthday who are at risk or have developed problems associated with alcohol misuse. It offers one-to-one appointments and confidential advice by telephone. The service also provides alcohol education sessions to schools, colleges and the wider community along with an advice line for parents and carers.

Call their confidential advice and referral line Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm: 020 8356 7377. You can also email the team in confidence on

Mental health support

Alcohol misuse and mental health are commonly interlinked and addressing both issues is often vital for long-term positive behaviour change. There’s lots of local mental health support in Hackney to give you help and support.

Other help and support

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: the Alcoholics Anonymous helpline is open 24/7 on 0800 9177 650.  You can also email them at or live chat with someone. Find your local group / meeting
  • Al-Anon: support and understanding for the families and friends of dependant drinkers.  You can call their confidential helpline on 020 7403 0888
  • Drinkline: a free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or somebody else’s. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am-8pm, weekends 11am-4pm)
  • SMART Recovery: online and in person meetings. Join an online meeting
  • We Are With You offers a free confidential online chat service. Available weekdays – between 10am-4pm and 6pm-9pm; and on weekends 11am-4pm

Alcohol strategy

Our alcohol strategy sets out our priorities for reducing alcohol related harm over the next 3 years.

The following are identified in the strategy to reduce alcohol related harms in Hackney:

  • encourage healthier drinking behaviours
  • commission appropriate and responsive treatment services
  • support families, carers, and young people affected by alcohol misuse
  • promote responsible drinking environments

The strategy sets out a number of actions to meet these broad objectives.

To ensure the actions are delivered, a supporting action plan will be developed and monitored annually.

Page updated on: 8 November 2022