During alcohol awareness week (19-23 November) we are highlighting the impact alcohol can have on people who drink too much and those around them.
With the Christmas and New Year period nearly upon us there is an increase in festivities, parties, family gatherings and work functions. While it’s a great time of year, it can also be a time of excess, especially when it comes to alcohol. Anyone who drinks a lot in a short space of time can suffer alcohol poisoning.
Binge drinking can have a major impact on someone’s physical health, causing damage to the liver, heart, brain and stomach. Drinking too much can also affect your judgement, leading you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do and might regret later. These can include unplanned sexual activity, fighting, or spoiling events for you, your family and friends.
Anthea Durant, Trading Standards Authorised Officer says “Many of us enjoy a drink when at home or out with friends, but we need to be aware of the affect that alcohol can have on us and those around us”.
Many people do not realise that alcohol is a powerful drug and drinking too much can seriously affect your health. The more you drink and the more frequently you drink, the more likely you are to become dependent on alcohol and move towards an alcohol problem.
Frequently drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week risks damaging your health, this is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
Alcohol Awareness Week Tips:
- understand how much you are drinking.
- learn how many units are in your chosen drink.
- always look after yourself and know what your limits.
- have something to eat before you start drinking to slow down the absorption of alcohol.
- alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink, for example, water to keep hydrated
- avoid drinking in rounds as this may result in you drinking more.
- keep track of your drinks and don’t let anyone top up your drink until it’s finished.
- if friends do drink too much, don’t leave them alone or let them wander off, encourage them to rehydrate with non-alcoholic drinks.
Businesses should also be aware that selling alcohol to an inebriated person could be a breach of their licensing conditions. Businesses should also avoid illegally selling alcohol to underage people by having a Challenge 25 Policy. Trading Standards South West has developed an online toolkit called No Proof of Age – No Sale to help train businesses & their staff in how to avoid underage sales. To find out more and to see if you are eligible for free training, please visit www.npoans.org.uk.