"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"
Key Information


Steps to Change
Steps to Change
Early intervention for adults and family members affected by substance use in WHSCT
Alcohol and You Services
Alcohol and You Services
A website with on-line tools to examine alcohol use and referral to support services
ASCERT Alcohol Services
ASCERT Alcohol Services
Support for concerns about a persons alcohol use and services for family members
The impact on health

How alcohol can impact on health

Diseases and cancers

Experts estimate alcohol is responsible for at least 33,000 deaths in the UK each year. While rates of liver disease are falling in the rest of Europe, they are rising in the UK. 

Liver disease used to affect mainly drinkers in middle age, but now sufferers are getting younger. 

Alcohol misuse is an important factor in a number of cancers, including liver cancer and mouth cancer, both of which are on the increase. 

Chronic pancreatitis is another disease associated with heavy drinking. It’s caused when your pancreas becomes inflamed and cells become damaged. Diabetes is a common side effect of chronic pancreatitis. There’s evidence that heavy drinking can reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which can trigger type 2 diabetes. 

Mental health

Alcohol alters the brain’s chemistry and increases the risk of depression. It is often associated with a range of mental health problems A recent British survey found that people suffering from anxiety or depression were twice as likely to be heavy or problem drinkers.

Extreme levels of drinking can occasionally cause ‘psychosis’, a severe mental illness where hallucinations and delusions of persecution develop. Psychotic symptoms can also occur when very heavy drinkers suddenly stop drinking and develop a condition known as ‘delirium tremens’.

Heavy drinking often leads to work and family problems, which in turn can lead to isolation and depression. For heavy drinkers who drink daily and become dependent on alcohol, there can be withdrawal symptoms (nervousness, tremors, palpitations) which resemble severe anxiety, and may even cause phobias, such as a fear of going out.


If you’re trying to watch your waistline, drinking too much alcohol is not the best diet plan. Did you know drinking five pints a week consumes the same number of calories as someone getting through 221 doughnuts a year. 

Drinking too much alcohol isn’t great news for your skin either. As well as causing bloating and dark circles under your eyes, alcohol dries out your skin and can lead to wrinkles and premature aging.


If you drink large quantities of alcohol on a regular basis you run the risk of becoming addicted. Experts estimate that one in 17 people (6.4%) in Great Britain depend on alcohol to get through the day. This can have serious effects on their families, friends and partners, as well as their mental health.


23 Bridge Street,
Co. Antrim
BT28 1XZ

Tel: 0800 2545 123
Fax: 028 9260 3874
Email: info@ascert.biz
Charity Number: NIC101239