Alcohol Awareness Week
With 1 in 5 adults drinking more since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become increasingly important for people to be aware of the effects of alcohol misuse.
This year Alcohol Awareness Week will take place from 16th-22nd November and is focusing on the theme of ‘Alcohol and Mental Health’. Around 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem every year and alcohol misuse can contribute towards poor mental health. Click here to read more about the effects of alcohol on mental health.
What are the risks of alcohol misuse?
It’s recommended that you don’t exceed 14 units of alcohol per week. There are many ways alcohol can negatively impact mental health:
- Heighten feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Post-drinking hangovers leading to headaches and nausea which can cause low mood.
- Not addressing underlying health problems.
Your mental health is incredibly important, so it’s vital that you know the effects alcohol can have on it. Have you experienced any of these before?
There are many other long-term effects of alcohol misuse which can impact your health:
- High blood pressure.
- Risk of stroke.
- Sexual problems such as impotence.
What are the benefits of drinking less?
When people start to drink less alcohol, they will notice benefits such as:
- Better sleep.
- Improved mental health.
- Increased energy.
- More money.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Reduced risk of cancer, heart and liver disease.
When trying to lower your alcohol intake, keep these benefits in mind. What could you spend that extra money on instead? How will sleeping better affect your daily life?
However, if you are a recovering alcoholic it is important that you seek professional medical advice before you cut down on alcohol consumption, as there is a risk of alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, agitation and seizures.
How can I get involved?
Alcohol Change UK have come up with lots of ways you can get involved:
- Fundraising – you can organise a mocktail event (in line with government guidelines), take on an active challenge or do some virtual fundraising though gaming or quiz nights, just to name a few examples! Click here to read more.
- Become a campaigner and help make change happen, click here to find out how.
- Test your knowledge with this interactive quiz on alcohol and learn more about the effects drinking has on the body.
Where can I get support?
If you are worried about yourself or someone else and alcohol misuse, there is support available.
- You can contact Drinkline, a confidential and free helpline on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm).
- Alcoholics Anonymous run a 24/7 helpline which you can contact on 0800 9177 650. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or live chat via their website.
- WDP offer free support to people in Cheshire West and Chester who have been affected by alcohol addiction, including recovery and aftercare support. Click here to visit their website.
- The NHS can help you calculate your alcohol intake, click here to visit their website.
- The NHS One You website has useful resources to help you drink less, including an app that helps you reduce your alcohol intake. Click here to find out more.
For URGENT support you can contact the Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123 or via email at email@example.com.