Sedgemoor District Council and the Together Team - East Bridgwater are supporting Alcohol Awareness Week 2016 with the aim of getting people to think about alcohol, how it affects us as individuals, families and communities and whether resident's can challenge themselves to start 2017 by giving their body a one-month booze break.
With alcohol related harm costing £21billion across England, including £3.5 billion to the NHS, this year's campaign focuses on the impact alcohol has on health, and knowing the risks associated with alcohol. Across Somerset in 2012/13 there were over 108,000 hospital admissions, 210 deaths from alcohol-related causes as well as 20% of adults drinking too much and doing damage to their health.
New guidance issued from the Chief Medical Officer in January 2016 stated that the alcohol limits for both men and women are the same - which is to not drink more than 14 units a week, and spreading these units evenly over at least three or more days. The guidance has also highlighted how there is no safe level of alcohol as there is a relationship between more than sixty health conditions and alcohol including six cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia and depression.
Kristy Blackwell, Together Team Coordinator said "We're not against people letting off steam and having the odd drink but we have all seen the damage over indulgence in alcohol can do to individuals and their families. Alcohol related crime and anti-social behaviour is also a concern for some local residents, as it is nationally - the cost of these incidents is not just financial, they affect the whole community. The figures detailing alcohol harm from across the county are startling and very worrying but we've found people are often confused about how many units are in their usual drink and they don't realise they are drinking too much. That's why we're working to raise awareness across the local community about the unit content in drinks and encourage sign-ups to Dry January."
Kristy continued "Dry January has been running since 2013 with 12million taking part in 2016. Alcohol Awareness Week is all about raising awareness of how many units people are drinking, what damage they could be doing to their health and will hopefully encourage people from across East Bridgwater to sign-up and challenge themselves to an alcohol free month. Free support will be available through January by email, social media and with experts. We can guarantee your bank balance will improve, you'll probably feel brighter, more alert and fitter and maybe you'll lose a few pounds too. Sign up by visiting
Alcohol Concern - Dry January."