Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) is an annual campaign run by Alcohol Concern to get people thinking about alcohol use and its effects – particularly how it affects everyone in society, from individuals to communities. Everyone is encouraged to take part and help raise awareness in schools, workplaces and homes.
This year’s theme is ‘Alcohol and Families’. Alcohol Concern is partnering with Adfam to start a conversation aimed at breaking down the cycle of silence and stigma experienced by families affected by problematic alcohol use.
Why does it matter?
An estimated more than one in four Surrey adults drink above the recommended level. Those regularly drinking above the 14-unit weekly limit risk developing more than 60 health problems such as high blood pressure, heart and liver disease, brain damage and cancer – not to mention significantly affecting their mental health, social life and finances.
How much is too much?
The latest alcohol guidelines published by the UK’s Chief Medical Officer recommend that:
Men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week – 14 units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine
Drinkers should limit the amount they consume on single occasions and drink alcohol with food and wate• Pregnant women should avoid drinking
Where can I find support?
There is plenty of support available to those who are concerned about their drinking, or that of someone they know. A good place to start is your local GP. Further support available includes:
Don’t Bottle It Up, an online screening tool that provides personalised feedback and advice, as well as information on where to find local support
Free online resources, including a free app, are available at One You
Those who consider themselves to be drinking at higher risk and dependent levels can contact Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care
A comprehensive list of support, including local alcohol support services, can be found at NHS Choices
Contact Drinkline for a free, confidential helpline on: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am-8pm, weekends 11am-4pm)
Al-Anon provides support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking.