Tuesday, December 11The Voice of London

It’s time for a CHANGE: Alcohol Awareness Week begins

Photo by Mahrael Boutros from Pexels

Alcohol Awareness Week starts on 19th of November. The main theme this year is ‘Change’. According to Alcohol Concern, the UK’s leading independent alcohol charity, a change is ‘necessary, possible and… it is happening’.

Why is it important? Statistics explain better than words.

According to the England National Statistics on Alcohol and NHS Digital in 2016/17 over 330 thousand people in the UK got into hospitals because of the alcohol.

The first graph represents the total number of admissions by age. 40% of patients aged between 45 and 64:

Data collected from England National Statistics. Graph made by Victoria Naumova

The second chart shows that the number of admissions by men greatly exceed women’s:

Data collected from England National Statistics. Graph made by Victoria Naumova

The third diagram outlines the numbers of deaths caused by alcohol in different age groups:

Data collected from England National Statistics. Graph made by Victoria Naumova

The fourth graph represents alcohol-specific and alcohol-related deaths by condition. An alcoholic liver disease is the most common cause.

Data collected from England National Statistics. Graph made by Victoria Naumova

The final chart shows the number of admissions by diagnosis, partially or wholly caused because of the alcohol.

Data collected from England National Statistics. Graph made by Victoria Naumova

Voice of London interviewed Adrian Brown, an alcohol nurse specialist at Northwick Park & Central Middlesex Hospitals, and learned all the dangers of alcohol. Brown also explained more about Alcohol Awareness Week and why it is important. According to the Voice of London Twitter poll, 56% of participants drink alcohol because of the socialisation and 22% for fun. If you want to hear the full interview with Brown and learn some tips on how to socialise and party without drinking alcohol, click on the link below.

Alcohol Awareness week is not the only campaign which helps us to reduce alcohol consumption. Drinkaware is an independent charity which helps people to make better choices about drinking.

In a press release provided by Drinkaware, Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive at Public Health England, said: “Many of us enjoy a drink – but whether it’s a few in the pub after work a couple of times a week, some beers on the sofa watching the football or regular wine with our dinner – it’s all too easy to let our drinking creep up on us. While the link with liver disease is well known, many people are not aware that alcohol can cause numerous other serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease as well as several cancers. It’s also an easy way to pile on the pounds. About 10 million people in England are drinking in ways that increases the risks and many are struggling to cut down. Setting yourself a target of having more drink free days every week is an easy way to drink less and reduce the risks to your health.”

John Barnes, former England and Liverpool footballer also a supporter of the Drinkaware: “This is an important campaign highlighting how many of us don’t realise that we are drinking in ways that could be harming our health and how we are struggling to moderate. A beer here and a glass of wine there might not seem like much but the units can add up and so can the health risks. Having a few more days a week that are drink free is a great way of taking control of our drinking and making healthier choices for the future which is why I am supporting this fantastic campaign.”

Alcohol Awareness week is a time for change, it is a perfect reminder of healthy living. If you drink to socialise and have fun, try it with a virgin cocktail instead. Today, many people decide not to drink, and their lives are not lacking in the least. Instead, they improve their well-being and reduce the chances of severe illnesses through swapping out the wine for the juice.

The main message for Alcohol Awareness week is to not be afraid to ask for support, from local hospitals and your GP as well as plenty of online self-help services. This support can help you, your family members and friends.

Start a new life, now. Be healthy.

Useful links for online self-help groups:
https://www.drinkaware.co.uk
http://buildonbelief.org.uk
https://www.nhs.uk/change4life?next_start=19&seed=325&type=
https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/alcohol-abuse/alcohol-hotline/#gref
https://al-anon.org
https://soberistas.com

 

Words and graphs: Victoria Naumova | Subbing: Katherine Cenaj

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