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Alcohol and drugs

Leicester has significant rates of alcohol related harm, with a mortality and hospital admission rate far higher than the national average.


In September 2022, we published our Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy (available at the bottom of this page) which lays out how we will support people to drink responsibly and reduce the harm that excessive drinking causes.

Working with our partners across the city we will:

  • Promote a culture of responsible drinking
  • Protect children and young people and families
  • Improve early identification and treatment
  • Promote responsible selling
  • Reduce alcohol related crime
  • Respond to emerging issues

Actions include promoting non-alcoholic alternatives, supporting retailers to responsibly promote and sell alcohol, and ensuring that people have access to early intervention and treatment services.

Responsible drinking

Unit guidelines are now the same for men and women. It is now advised that you do not drink more than 14 units a week with a few alcohol-free days.

The units in any alcoholic drink will be displayed on the product.

How to cut back

If you are concerned about how much alcohol you are drinking, visit the NHS Choices website page on alcohol, call Drinkline on 0800 876 6778 or see your GP. 

Cutting back on alcohol can improve your health, mental and physical well-being. There are plenty of practical ways you can start to cut down and stay on track. For more information visit the Drink Aware website.

Responsible drinking means drinking enjoyably, sociably and moderately. It also means not drinking at all in situations where the effects of alcohol will put your own or someone else's safety or health at risk. Find ideas for non-alcohol cocktails.

You can download a handy alcoholic units guide at the bottom of this page.

Stressful situations

In periods of stress some people may experience difficulties around alcohol use and may drink more than they would normally. Increased drinking at home could cause problems for family members.

Some people who drink every day and are dependent on alcohol might have serious medical problems (alcohol withdrawal) if they suddenly stop drinking, for instance if they cannot go out and buy alcohol.

There are services and resources available to help people who are concerned about their (or a family member’s) drinking.

Turning Point

In Leicester our local service Turning Point is still providing a service to individuals with alcohol and drug issues. It is able to take new referrals and is doing a lot more of its work over the phone. For more information on how to refer and ask for help, use the link below:

Turning Point also have helpful information on alcohol use, how to cut down safely and manage withdrawal.

You can also find more information in the PDF which is available to download at the bottom of this page.

There is also other help that can be found online:


The main sources of information about drugs and what to do if you, or a loved one, are worried about drug use are Talk to Frank and NHS Choices.

You can download more information about drugs and how they are classified at the bottom of this page.

Legal highs

There is now no such thing as a 'legal high'. The law has changed, making it an offence to supply or possess drugs that are to be taken for their psychoactive effects.

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) consultation

We ran a consultation to find the level of public awareness about New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), formerly known as ‘legal highs’. Along with the support to help enforce controls on their use. For example, by giving the police additional powers through a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). Get further information about the feedback we received.

Where can I get help?

If you or a loved one has a problem with drugs, there is a wide range of addiction services that can help. A good place to start is to visit your GP who will help you choose the most appropriate treatment for you. They might offer to treat you themselves or refer you to your local specialist drug service. 

Some of these services are provided by the NHS, and some are specialist drug facilities run by charities and private organisations.

More information