Alcohol Awareness Week

Wise Up To Alcohol With Alcohol Awareness Week

Alcohol Awareness Week is back for another year from 16th-22nd November in a bid to raise awareness about alcohol dependence and abuse. The campaign, run by Alcohol Concern, is designed to boost awareness of the issues caused by alcohol and how it can affect individuals, families and even communities. There are many ways in which you can get involved with Alcohol Awareness Week, and East Berkshire Primary Care Out of Hours is backing the campaign to promote healthier attitudes towards alcohol to our visitors.


What is Alcohol Awareness Week?

Alcohol Awareness Week is an initiative set up by Alcohol Concern, a small, independent charity which seeks to promote the dangers of drinking too much in a bid to reduce incidents and damage caused by alcohol. Alcohol Awareness Week is one of its biggest campaigns of the year, alongside ‘Dry January’ and is a great time for people to show their support or ask for assistance for alcohol-related issues.


The impact of alcohol on health and society

Each year, Alcohol Awareness Week has a theme, and this year’s theme is ‘the impact of alcohol on health and society’. Issues and incidents caused by alcohol are attracting a larger focus in the media than ever before, and it’s no surprise with statistics such as:

  • Illnesses and conditions caused by alcohol now take up 1/8 beds at NHS hospitals
  • In 2011, 4,100 people died as a result of liver cancer
  • Alcohol is one of the known causes of diabetes, affecting around 3.2 million people.

It’s alarming that alcohol related diseases are having such an impact on our health services, added to the fact that A&E departments across the country are inundated with those who have suffered injuries or alcohol poisoning as a result of drinking too much. By raising awareness through initiatives like Alcohol Awareness Week, it is hoped that these problems can be reduced.


How can I get involved?

Alcohol Awareness Week is a great time to educate yourself about safe alcohol levels and increase your own awareness of drinking too much. You can find information about alcohol and its effects by visiting Alcohol Concern or the NHS Choices website. Alcohol Concern are also running a conference as part of the week, featuring some great speakers and workshops. If you’re interested in attending, you can book your place here.


Tips for cutting down

If you’re concerned about the amount of alcohol you’re consuming, there are some great tips available to help you cut down, such as:

  • Try alternating each alcoholic drink with a soft drink or water
  • Switch to low-alcohol wines and lagers
  • If you regularly drink at home, consider having a cup of tea or coffee instead – you may not feel the need for alcohol after having this.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach
  • Avoid the alcohol aisle when completing your weekly shop, this way you’ll resist the urge to take advantage of cheap deals and offers to save for a ‘rainy day’

If you are concerned about your use of alcohol and want to speak to someone, contact your GP or visit one of our out of hours clinics to seek advice.