Alcohol – what’s the harm?

General picture of teens drinking alcohol at party
General picture of teens drinking alcohol at party

Residents are being encouraged to think about how much they drink this week as part of national Alcohol Awareness Week and about the effects it can have on their health.

Members of staff at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are supporting the awareness week which will run until Sunday November 22nd by promoting healthy drinking habits.

The week is led by Alcohol Concern and this year the theme is “the impact of alcohol on health and society”.

Alcohol affects people’s health in many ways which in turn impacts society with one in eight beds provided by the NHS being used to treat alcohol related illness. Around nine million people are drinking more than the recommended guidelines.

Gareth Beck, Health Improvement Specialist from the Health Improvement Service, said: “Alcohol Awareness Week is a great time for us to get messages out to the public around lower risk guidelines so people can make educated decisions around their drinking habits and lifestyle behaviours. Many people don’t realise that excessive alcohol consumption is the second biggest cause of cancer after smoking and can also lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease.”

The UK has the highest rate for “binge” drinking in Europe. The definition of binge drinking is drinking more than double the lower risk guidelines for alcohol in one session. The recommended lower risk guidelines is three to four units for men and two to three units for women. People are also encouraged to include at least two or three alcohol free days per week. To check what is classed as a unit visit: www.drinkaware.co.uk.

People can find out more information about Alcohol Awareness Week by visiting: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk.

To find out more information about alcohol and the effects it has on children visit Drink Wise North West’s website at: www.LookAgainAtAlcohol.org.uk.