This Alcohol Awareness Week, groups across the UK are organising events and raising awareness of alcohol-related harm. Did you know:
- Alcohol is the biggest risk factor for all early deaths among 15-49 year olds.
- Alcohol is linked to over 50% of all violent crime
- Around 200,000 children in England live with an alcohol-dependent parent or carer.
About 7% of all hospital admissions are alcohol-related, and Oxfordshire has a higher rate of under-18s admitted for alcohol-related conditions than any of our neighbouring counties. With alcohol being such a serious issue in Oxfordshire and beyond, oxme.info is supporting Alcohol Awareness Week, signposting local services and sharing tips about what to do if you have a concern.
Think about drinking
There's lots you can do to support alcohol awareness this week, from talking with a friend about their drinking, to cutting down or getting help yourself. Did you know:
- You can get lots of information about alcohol and safer drinking on this website
- If you're worried about your drinking you can get help from your GP - and you can see your GP without your parents being present
- Young people aged 11-19 affected by drinking - their own or someone else's - can get support in Oxfordshire from the Aquarius Service on 07950 301426 or through your local Children & Family Centre (there are similar services across the UK)
- You can also get help from your School Health Nurse at your school or college, or through university advice and counselling services.
Alcohol counselling service workers say that if you are worried about someone's drinking then it is OK to speak up - but that you should try to avoid being judgemental. Be calm and caring, and patient - you may need to raise the issue several times before they listen.
A serious problem - but most young people are drinking less
Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: “The situation with alcohol in the UK looks, at first glance, bleak. In 2017 20 people died each day as a result of their drinking. It’s not only individuals who are harmed; whole families, including the 200,000 children living with alcohol dependent parents, feel the effects of heavy drinking... But there are signs that the tide is changing. The amount of alcohol drunk by young people is falling. Sales of no and low alcohol beer has increased 58% year-on-year. The time is ripe for serious change – to improve and save hundreds of thousands of lives."
Ditch the myths and know the facts
Look out this week on the @oxmeinfo twitter, Facebook and Instagram for facts about drinking, mythbusting and more or check out #AlcoholChange or #AlcoholAwarenessWeek for more real life stories, motivation, myth-busting and facts about alcohol harm.
These are our picks from the Alcohol Change Fact Sheet series, to get you started:
Finally, this video from Alcohol Concern (one of the two charities that merged to become Alcohol Change) explores how alcohol and depression reinforce each other, and how giving up drinking for just five weeks can help relieve depressive symptoms: