What's Your Poison?
People in North Lincolnshire are being encouraged to get the measure of their drinking habits during Alcohol Awareness Week.
Drinking more than your recommended daily limit can have disastrous effects on your health and family life and a new scheme is to be launched which aims to call time on excessive boozing by making people aware of just how much they drink.
Nowadays alcohol features prominently in just about every celebration and ritual you can think of here in the UK. Bottles are cracked open at weddings and birthdays, Christmas and New Year, to celebrate a new job, passing an exam or just enjoying a night out with the girls or boys, a quiet drink with your other half or a swift one after work. With so much booze flowing, how do know whether you are risking your health by having an extra glass?
Maria Callaghan, a Health Improvement Specialist with NHS North Lincolnshire, stresses how important it is to always be aware how many units of alcohol you are drinking.
“Most of us drink sensibly and suffer little effects,” Maria explains. “But if someone is starting to drink above the recommended rate they may find their energy levels begin to suffer and they risk problems like memory loss, depression, insomnia, impotence as well as putting themself in danger of injury. As alcohol intake increases further so does the risk of relationship problems, alcohol dependence, high blood pressure, liver disease and even cancer!”
To avoid damaging their health, women shouldn’t exceed 2-3 and men 3-4 units of alcohol daily. Bear in mind that a pint of premium beer is likely to contain 3 units and a 250ml glass of wine 2 units and this allowance isn’t as generous as you might think as you reach in the fridge for a top-up.
Another sobering thought is that each single unit of alcohol takes one full hour to be processed by the body. So an average bottle of wine will take 9 or 10 hours to be processed by the liver and exit the body.
Drinking too much the night before can leave you facing a hangover, or worse you could drive to work with alcohol still in your system.
There are lots of tools available to help you keep an eye on the units you’re drinking. For example, visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol/Pages/Alcoholtracker.aspx for a useful unit calculator and lots of tips how to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
There is even an App you can download for your iPhone to help you keep track of your drinks on a night out.
A pilot scheme is to be served up soon at three North Lincolnshire pharmacies to raise awareness of knowing your limits.Starting soon, customers who pop into pharmacies in Winterton, Barton on Humber and Westcliff will get a special scratch card which asks three basic questions about their alcohol use to generate a score. The implications of their score will be shown on the back of the card with information on alcohol units and the local Community Alcohol Service. Anyone who scores five or above will be offered an opportunity to complete a few more questions which will help them identify their drinking level, and if necessary they will be given brief advice.
Maria explained: “Excessive alcohol consumption is a major cause of avoidable hospital admissions. It is hoped that this project will help address this and if it proves to be as successful as it has been in other areas of the country then funding will be sought for it
to be rolled out to other North Lincolnshire Pharmacies.”
Community Alcohol Service
If you would like further information about any other alcohol issue, or would like advice about your drinking, call 01724 852675, or drop in at:
86 Oswald Road Monday – Friday: 10am to 12pm
Late night Wednesday: 5pm to 7pm
Knotted Note Monday and Thursday: 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Barton Upon Humber
GND Resources Tuesdays: 3pm to 4.45pm
Their friendly staff will be happy to listen to your concerns in a confidential, non-judgemental manner and assist you to think of a way forward.
Alcohol use doesn’t just affect the user. It affects their families and loved ones too. If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, and would like some advice, support, or just more information, then contact ‘Empathy’ Carer Support Group, Telephone VANL on: 01724 845155 or Empathy Support Line: 07592395127. You can also visit their website www.empathysupport.co.uk or Facebook – Empathy North Lincs.
Other useful websites:
- News Added: 15 November 2011