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ALCOHOL: Cut your drinking - keep a diary

People who fear they may be drinking too much should avoid buying rounds in the pub and keep a diary to record their weekly alcohol intake, a new guide advises today.

More than one in 20 people in England are "problem drinkers" - regularly drinking more than the recommended amount, binge-drinking at the weekend or drinking to prevent withdrawal symptoms, according to the Health Education Authority and Alcohol Concern.

To help them cut down, the partnership has launched a guide called Say When ... How Much Is Too Much? which spells out the health, social and financial benefits of drinking less, and offers 10 practical tips on tackling the problem.

They include setting a limit and keeping to it by keeping a drink diary, not reaching for the bottle to help you relax, skipping rounds in the pub and buying half pints instead of pints.

According to the organisations, 2.68 million people in England could be putting their health at risk, as well as getting into financial or emotional difficulties, by drinking too much.