Did you know…. alcohol plays a part in the deaths of three people every hour and the biggest group at risk are those aged 15 to 49 years old?
- Last year 1.2 million people were admitted to hospital because of alcohol
- Alcohol misuse is costing the NHS £3.5 billion each year
- Around 200,000 children in England live with an alcohol dependent parent or carer which can have lifelong negative effects on their health and wellbeing.
During Alcohol Awareness Week (11 – 17 November), the NHS in North West London is launching a campaign to help everyone #KnowAlcohol, learn more about alcohol, the effect that it is on our bodies, our lives and the lives of those around us.
How much are you drinking?
Knowing how much is too much can be confusing when it comes to alcohol. Most of us feel that we know when we’ve overdone it, but sometimes drinking can creep upon us and we find that we’re drinking more than we thought.
Kate, 37, is an alcoholic and has now been sober for seven years. She said:
Alcohol Awareness Week is a good opportunity to assess your levels of drinking and the effect that alcohol has on your life. There is no shame in asking for help if you struggle to control your drinking. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol, there is lots of support out there to help you. For me, it was Alcoholics Anonymous because they helped me to see that I wasn’t going through this on my own.
Get help if you need it
Click here to take the Alcohol Change quiz and check how much you are drinking.
Realising you have a problem with alcohol is the first big step to getting help. If you think you need help please don’t struggle alone. Asking for help is one of the bravest things you can do. If you need some support to control your drinking there’s help available and there’s no shame in seeking it. Talk to your GP or local alcohol service, visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/ for more information.
Doctor Sophie Coronini-Cronberg, Public Health Consultant for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:
Drinking a medium glass (175ml) of average-strength wine (12%) or pint of medium-strength beer each day, could put you at risk of health problems including raised blood pressure, several types of cancer and reduced fertility. Even if you are drinking within the recommended limits (14 units a week), you should spread this out over the week.
Acute or ‘binge’ drinking poses a risk to the drinker but also to others, for example through drink driving, domestic violence, and assault. By cutting down even a little, such as by increasing alcohol-free days, limiting the amount of alcohol per session and slowing drinking and alternating with water and food, you can reduce the harm from alcohol to both yourself and others.”
Join the conversation
To learn more about alcohol and its affects follow #KnowAlcohol, you can find us on Twitter @HealthierNWL, Facebook NHS Stay Well and Linkedin – North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups.