Plymouth City Council wants you to ‘know your risks’ as we mark Alcohol Awareness Week (14 – 20 November 2016).
For example, did you know that alcohol is linked to over 60 health conditions including cancer, gastrointestinal conditions, and liver disease? Or that a large glass of wine contains as many calories as a doughnut? Or that nationally, 10.8 million adults are drinking at levels that pose some risk to their health.
The national awareness week is led by Public Health England and supported by organisations such Alcohol Concern. New alcohol guidelines published by the Chief Medical Officer earlier this year recommend that both men and women do not regularly exceed 14 units a week. One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, so 14 units is the equivalent of 6 pints of average strength beer, or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care for Plymouth City Council, said: “We want to encourage local people to know their risks when it comes to alcohol and also be aware of the local support services available if they think their drinking habits are becoming a problem.
“Here in Plymouth we are working hard with our partners in health, voluntary sector and police to address the issues caused by alcohol including treating those who need help, but also ensuring through early intervention and prevention we educate people of the dangers of alcohol from a young age.”
Dr Ruth Harrell, Director of Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said: “Many people enjoy a drink to relax but it’s important that everyone knows about the health risks, and acknowledge the significant harm that heavy drinking can do, as well as being aware of the new alcohol guidelines. We are promoting Alcohol Awareness Week throughout this week both through social media using the hashtag #KnowTheRisks and with the local press, as well as raising awareness amongst our own staff.
“Excessive drinking is also one of the four behaviours – along with smoking, inactivity and an unhealthy diet – that we are tackling through our Thrive Plymouth programme, which is our ten year framework to improve health and reduce health inequalities in Plymouth. In the first year Thrive Plymouth engaged with 22,000 employees represented by 35 of the city’s largest employers, while in the second year, we worked with more than 50 local schools. For year 3, we which we are launching this week, we are working with Public Health England and local partners to integrate the One You campaign locally and encouraging people to check their lifestyle habits with the How Are You? online quiz.
“We also work with our partners to commission a range of services to support local people. In addition to Alcohol Awareness Week, we will once again be supporting Dry January, and don’t forget you can sign up at www.dryjanuary.org.uk”
Alcohol: Know your risks
- New guidelines published by the Chief Medical Officer this year recommend that both men and women do not regularly exceed 14 units a week. One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, so 14 units is the equivalent of 6 pints of average strength beer, or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
- Alcohol is linked to more than 60 health conditions including cancer, gastrointestinal conditions, and liver disease.
- Heavy drinking can result in alcohol-related dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression, and is one of the most preventable causes of cancer.
- Alcohol is the leading risk factor for deaths among men and women aged 15-49.
- The benefits of cutting down include sleeping better, feeling happier and less anxious, better memory, fewer hangovers, more time, and reduced health risks.
- Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) training by Livewell Southwest – call 01752 434864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call this free helpline, in complete confidence. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am – 8pm, weekends 11am – 4pm).
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free self-help group. Its “12-step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups.
- Al-Anon Family Groups offer support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers, whether they’re still drinking or not. Alateen is part of Al-Anon and can be attended by 12- to 17-year-olds who are affected by another person’s drinking, usually a parent.
- Addaction is a UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals, families and communities to manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse.
- Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam operates an online message board and database of local support groups.
- The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) provides a free, confidential telephone and email helpline for children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned with their welfare. Call 0800 358 3456 for the Nacoa helpline.
- Caring for an alcoholic? Find out where you can get support