Reducing harm caused by alcohol


How much alcohol is too much?

New guidelines from the Chief Medical Officer advise that you are safest not to drink regularly more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.

If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over 3 days or more.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

 Click here for more information about alcohol


Why is Rory being used in schools?

Like tobacco, drugs and sex education, alcohol education is now an integral part of the school curriculum in Scotland. Rory links to the health and wellbeing outcomes contained within the curriculum for excellence and covers a range of topics across the curriculum.

Rory aims to build resilience and protective factors in children, these are valuable transferable skills for all children.

Is my child too young to learn about alcohol?

From an early age your child is likely to be aware of alcohol, even if they haven’t been around adults drinking, they are likely to have been exposed to alcohol on TV, in supermarkets, restaurants or at celebrations or events.

Research suggests that children as young as 7 demonstrate an awareness of alcohol and it’s affects and are able to determine different levels of drinking – from occasional drinking through to habitual drunkenness. 1

Another study carried out with 10 year olds found that they were more aware of the Carlsberg brand than Mr Kipling cakes. 2

During a recent independent Rory Evaluation children aged 5 and 6 years spoke about alcohol use and were able to identify specific brands of alcohol that were consumed at home.Rory is tailored for different age groups with alcohol being introduced gradually and in an age appropriate manner using the characters of Rory and Fred.

I don’t drink alcohol, so why is this necessary for my child?

Even if you don’t drink alcohol, there may be times when alcohol is present within your child’s environment i.e. at a celebration, on holiday or even just walking down the street. Rory provides a sensitive way to explore the topic of alcohol and raise awareness of the harm that alcohol can have on others within a safe environment.

How do you know this resource works?

Rory is used in many areas across Scotland and has been independently evaluated for use in a school setting. From this evaluation, we know that Rory has successfully delivered on its stated aims – the teacher’s training evaluated well and teachers used Rory very positively to work with children in the classroom.

Teachers report that Rory is a good fit for their work to develop children’s health and well-being and links to the Curriculum for Excellence.


1 - (Ref Pre-teens learning about alcohol: drinking and family contexts, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2010)
2 - (Ref: Making an impression, Alcohol Concern Cymru, 2012)