Help and Advice

A range of info and advice concerning your health and well-being including sexual and mental health and safety.

Fake or illegally produced alcoholic drinks are those produced in unlicensed distilleries including people’s own homes. Drinking fake alcohol can have serious health implications.

Fake alcohol can sometimes include chemicals such as cleaning fluid, screen wash and nail polish remover. Drinking alcohol containing these chemicals can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. Drinking it can lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma. Methanol, the substance recently found in fake vodka, can cause permanent blindness.

Recognising Fake Alcohol

According to the Trading Standards Institute, in order to avoid fake alcohol, people need to remember ‘the 4 Ps’: Place, Price, Packaging and Product.

  • Place: Make sure you buy from a reputable supermarket, off licence or shop.
  • Price: If a deal looks too good to be true, it most probably is.
  • Packaging: Look out for poor quality labelling, properly sealed caps and fake bar codes.  
  • Product: Look out for fake versions of well-known brands and be wary of unusual brand names you haven’t seen before.
What to do if you Drink it

Please seek medical advice if you think you have consumed fake alcohol. You can also report it to your local environmental health officer, call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Please see Drinkaware  for more information about the dangers of drinking fake alcohol, how to recognise it, and what to do if you witness fake alcohol being sold.

We make every effort to ensure information on these pages is accurate and up to date, however policies, procedures and regulations are subject to change. We therefore cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience suffered as a result of using our pages. Read the full disclaimer.

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