Alcohol Awareness Week warns you to think about what you drink

The Health Promotion Team at Liverpool Community Health (LCH) NHS Trust are encouraging us all to think about what they drink during Alcohol Awareness Week.

Taking place next week, from 17th – 23rd November, this annual awareness week coordinated by Alcohol Concern, aims to encourage people to think about the risks of regularly drinking more than the recommended safe amount.

As part of Alcohol Awareness Week, health advisors from the Trust will be offering free information and advice on alcohol in a range of community locations, and encouraging people to start considering cutting back on how much and how often they are drinking.

In addition, the Trust has partnered with Liverpool City Council’s Public Health Team to deliver a series of briefing sessions this month to prepare their staff and other partner agencies across the city for the launch of a new city-wide campaign, which will encourage people to drink less in the new year.

The government advises that people should not drink more than the daily guidelines of 3 – 4 units of alcohol for men (equivalent to a pint and a half of average strength beer), and 2 – 3 units of alcohol for women (equivalent to a medium glass of wine). They also advise that everyone should have a minimum of 2 alcohol free days each week.

Andy Ireland, Health Promotion Specialist on Alcohol for Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust explains:

“Whilst there is nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional drink, during Alcohol Awareness Week we really want to encourage everyone to think a bit more about how much, and how often, they are drinking alcohol.”

“Often people think that sensible drinking advice is just for heavy drinkers or those who binge drink in bars and clubs at the weekends, but we also want to remind those who are regularly drinking just a little bit over the recommended daily amount over an evening at home, that this can also seriously affect your health over time.”

He adds,

“We also want to reinforce the message that the guidelines around alcohol units are a recommended maximum daily allowance, so they can’t be saved up for a big night out like food calories can.”

Drinking above the recommended safe amount on a regular basis can lead to a range of longer term health problems including weight gain, depression and anxiety, liver disease, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease, strokes, dementia, cancer and brain damage.

Five simple tips for making sure you’re drinking sensibly during Alcohol Awareness Week include:

  • Try not to drink more than the recommended daily amount of units which is 3-4 for men, and 2-3 for women
  • Aim to have at least two completely alcohol-free days each week
  • If you are out drinking with friends, drink at your own pace
  • Try to stick to drinks that are lower in strength
  • Drink a soft drink or glass of water between each alcoholic drink as this helps to reduce dehydration.
  • It is recommended that pregnant women, and women who are trying to conceive, should not drink any alcohol at all

For further advice on alcohol, including how many calories or units of alcohol are in different types of drinks, alcohol quizzes, safer drinking tips and much more, visit: www.fewerunits.co.uk

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