Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Let's talk about cutting back on alcohol

Thursday 14 November 2013

Hampshire County Council's lead on public health, Councillor Liz Fairhurst, is backing the national Alcohol Awareness Week, taking place from 18-24 November. During this year's campaign, people who drink alcohol daily are being advised to give alcohol a break for a couple of days a week.

One in four of Hampshire's population - around 257,000 people - is estimated to drink more than the safe recommended levels for alcohol each week. As a result, Hampshire County Council, on behalf of the Hampshire Alcohol Partnership, is encouraging people to start to talk about alcohol and to think about how they can reduce their drinking.

Commenting, Cllr Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "It's easy to open a bottle of wine with dinner or enjoy a cold beer or two from the fridge. But these daily habits can mean we are drinking more than or over the recommended levels which can lead to long-term alcohol-related health problems.

"By talking about alcohol, we hope to bring out into the open the fact that many people do not realise how much they are drinking, especially at home. Working out how much you drink and then cutting down can be difficult, so a range of information and support is available at www.hants.gov.uk/drink-less."

Drinking too much alcohol can have different risks for different groups of people, for example pregnant women, older people, young people or those with an existing medical condition. Some of the risks include:

  • 'binge' or heavy drinking - this can affect your judgement and lead to injuries caused by drunkenness

  • regularly drinking too much can cause liver disease, some cancers and increased risk of heart attack - often the damage being done to your body is invisible until it becomes serious

  • being drunk can lead to you committing an offence or using anti-social behaviour which can impact on families and the wider community.

By drinking within the recommended limits and having a few alcohol days free every week, you will help your body to stay healthy. The daily recommended sensible drinking limits are:

  • men should not regularly drink (every day or most days of the week) more than three to four units of alcohol per day

  • women should not regularly drink (every day or most days of the week) more than two to three units of alcohol per day

  • you should have one or two alcohol-free days each week.

Further information on Alcohol Awareness Week

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