READING COUNCIL is helping to highlight the benefits of monitoring alcohol consumption and making a change where needed during this year’s ‘Alcohol Awareness Week’ (19-25 November).
Alcohol Awareness Week is a national campaign headed by Alcohol Change UK. This year’s theme is ‘Change’ and the campaign is encouraging people to think about their drinking levels. This could include:
· Keeping a drinking diary – record drinking levels to understand alcohol patterns and decide if a change is needed
· Changing your habits by pacing drinks / not joining in with every round
· Have a few days off every week to give your body a rest
· Asking for help and support to make a change
Cutting down on alcohol significantly helps improve people’s health and wellbeing both in the short and long term. Alcohol is a known factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression.
Locally, Reading Council’s Community Alcohol Partnership Officer ran a conference for local retailers on Thursday 15th November. The conference bought together retailers from across Reading, to share important guidance on selling alcohol responsibly, whilst also giving them the opportunity to share best practices.
Reading Council is currently in the process of developing an action plan for its ‘Drug and Alcohol Strategy for Adults and Young People ’which aims to tackle drug and alcohol misuse in Reading, over the next four years.
Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Lead Member for Health, said:
“Most people enjoy a social drink or two but it can be all too easy to slip into the habit of regularly drinking more than the recommended safe amount. Alcohol Awareness Week is a good prompt to take a look at our drinking habits and consider if we need to make a change to our drinking habits.
“The health benefits of cutting down (or cutting out) alcohol, are immense. As well as improving your general health in the short term, longer term, re-evaluating your alcohol consumption can have a far reaching effect, helping to avoid serious health conditions, such as cancer, coronary heart disease and liver disease.”
Anyone concerned about their alcohol use should speak to their GP for advice. Help and support is also available via the Council funded Drug and Alcohol Service, IRIS. Find out more at www.cranstoun.org/service/iris-reading
People can also find advice at www.alcoholchange.org.uk
The One You website also offers a useful free ‘drink less’ app: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/drink-less
Alcohol Change UK is the new charity formed by the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK. Their vision is of a world free from serious alcohol harm. Find out more at www.alcoholchange.org.uk