Alcohol Awareness Week 2018

alcohol

Crawley Borough Council is supporting Alcohol Awareness Week (19-25 November 2018).

This week more than 1,700 community groups around the country are taking part in Alcohol Awareness Week – more than double the number that took part last year. Local authorities, workplaces, GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals, charities and other groups are organising events.

The council’s Crawley Wellbeing Team has set up information displays in K2 Crawley and the foyer of the Town Hall for the whole week.

While alcohol harm has long been an issue in the UK, there has been a new resurgence in the will to tackle the harm from community and grassroots groups, as the UK has seen increasing levels of harm from liver disease while other developed countries have seen declines. At the same time, alcohol treatment services in the UK have been subject to severe cuts, making the picture all the worse for the more than 80% of alcohol dependent people not currently receiving help.

Alcohol Awareness Week is spearheaded by the new national charity Alcohol Change UK, which launched yesterday (20 November), formed from the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK. The charity today published a report outlining the current state of play for alcohol harm in the UK:

  • In 2017, 20 people per day died as a result of their drinking, an increase of 11 per cent since 2006
  • Alcohol is the biggest risk factor for all early deaths among 15-49 year olds.
  • There are around 600,000 alcohol dependent people in the UK. Less than 20 per cent of these people are getting the support they need
  • In England alone, alcohol costs the NHS an estimated £3.5 billion every year
  • Alcohol is linked to more than 50 per cent of all violent crime (and a much higher proportion in the evening and at weekends).

Alcohol Awareness Week aims to get people thinking and talking about alcohol, to motivate change at every level – individual, community and national.

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. In fact our whole society is impacted through the increased pressures on the NHS and other services. Many of us feel that drinking is an expectation rather than a choice.

“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 per cent year-on-year – you’ve probably noticed the new sections in supermarkets! And communities across the country will be taking part in Alcohol Awareness Week. The time is ripe for serious change – to improve and save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing at Crawley Borough Council, said: “I’m pleased that we are supporting Alcohol Awareness Week 2018. Our Crawley Wellbeing Team provides lots of support through its free and confidential Crawley Alcohol Service.”

Contact Crawley Wellbeing on 01293 585317 for more information about Crawley Borough Council’s Alcohol Awareness Week events.

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