Wristbands to Fight Dangerous Drinking in Cardiff

drinking in cardiffFor the youth of Cardiff, a night on the lash could mean waking up wearing a bright yellow wristband which says “How did you get home last night?”

The wristbands are part of a program by health officials to combat binge drinking among young people. These bright yellow reminders will be passed out by student volunteers, and police who run a minibus operated by the university to anyone who has overindulged.

This new system is working alongside an existing city centre triage which helps students who may be in trouble.

In an interview with the BBC, Emma Robson, the Universities joint student liaison officer said, "The minibus covers what are mainly thought of as the student areas of the city, but if we see someone struggling or in need, of course we'll help them whoever they are - and won't stop to ask for a student card".

"As well as student volunteers, the bus carries either a special constable or a police officer, to help persuade drunk people to let us take them to a place of safety, or maybe just give them a free ride home if that's all they need."

The new wrist band program is being brought into place in hopes that it will encourage people to think before they drink and question how much they consume on a night out. While the triage has been doing good work, they are not seeing a decrease in patients. This indicates that, while people may need the triage, having to use it does not deter them from drinking too much again.

"We were concerned that we can take people out of danger, but that when they wake up in the morning they underestimate just how vulnerable they were. Sometimes they've even forgotten altogether how they got home, and just shrug and laugh the whole thing off."

"The yellow wristbands are slipped on, but in the morning they'll hopefully encourage the wearers to think a bit more about how they came to have it in the first place," Robinson said.

The new wristbands are not just a helpful reminder to drink less, they also have some clever technology behind them. Each wristband has a QR code that the wearer can scan with a smart phone. Once scanned, they can access information on how the wearer got home.

This might just provide the incentive for some people to reconsider their drinking habits before they go out the next time.

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