Alcohol Awareness Week is upon us and runs from the 17th November until the 23rd. Each year the campaign encourages people to think about the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, raises awareness about the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and reassures sufferers that there is no shame in seeking help if they think they may have a problem.
The theme for this year is ‘facing our alcohol problem: taking back our health and high streets.” Throughout the week, local authorities and other organisations from pharmacies to treatment service providers, will all be doing their bit to get involved and raise awareness about alcohol-related issues and the impact it can have on our health and our communities.
Figures show that the UK has witnessed a 9% increase in alcohol consumption over the last three decades, that 2.6 million children are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 are living with dependent drinkers. It is also estimated that alcohol misuse costs England approximately £21 billion per year in healthcare, crime and lost productivity.
An incredible 21,485 deaths in 2012 were attributed to alcohol use in England alone and it is thought that as many as 1.6 million people are dependent on alcohol.
Speaking about Alcohol Awareness Week, Gareth Beck, a Health Improvement Specialist commented:
“Alcohol Awareness Week is a great time for us to get messages out to the public around lower risk guidelines, unit levels and the significant impact regular drinking has on all aspects of health. Alcohol not only causes short-term issues such as the dreaded hangover, but also impairs judgement, associated falls and incidents. It’s also a contributory factor with domestic violence, fires and crime.”