Alcohol – time to make a change?

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Tower Hamlets Council is highlighting issues surrounding alcohol use during Alcohol Awareness Week, running from November 19 – 25 2018.

Led by national charity Alcohol Concern, this year’s campaign theme is: ‘Change.’ The campaign aims to encourage conversation around alcohol, raise awareness and signpost people to services as appropriate alongside calling for change on individuals, communities and policy makers.

Although a significant proportion of residents in Tower Hamlets don’t drink at all (48%), those who do, have higher levels of alcohol-related problems than the London average and the rest of England.¹

The majority of adults drinking above the recommended guidelines do not have an ‘alcohol problem’, but are at risk of developing health problems or a future dependency.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Many people enjoy a drink now and again but units can add up before we know it.

“Working with our partners, we aim to reduce alcohol-related problems and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

“For those that may be concerned about their drinking or someone else’s, we offer a variety of support services, counselling and treatment to residents in the borough.”

Curious about how much you’re drinking each week? Don’t Bottle It Up (DBIU) is a short, online survey that allows residents to confidentially assess how risky their drinking is, access free personalised advice and telephone or face-to-face support if needed.

DBIU aims to increase the number of people having healthier relationships with alcohol and signposting individuals for support where needed. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidelines advise that adults should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

Around 1 in 5 adults in Tower Hamlets drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

Councillor Denise Jones, Cabinet Member for Health, Adults and Community, said: “Although many people may use alcohol responsibly, ‘at risk’ drinkers can benefit from simple brief advice which highlights the benefits of cutting down.

“DBIU is a two minute test that you can take privately at home if you’re curious about and how many units you may be consuming each week and what you can do about it.”

Want to learn more about your drinking habits and if you’re potentially causing harm? Drop by one of the following sessions to learn more about units, safe drinking and even getting some mocktail recipes:

Wednesday 21 November

1pm to 3pm

A&E – Royal London Hospital

Thursday 22 November

9am to 2pm

Market stall – Roman Road Market

Those residents concerned about their levels of drinking, or of a family member’s can contact Reset on 020 8121 5301, elt-tr.reset@nhs.net, www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/reset

For under 18s: Safe East Tower Hamlets Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Service, Tel: 020 3954 0091,compass.towerhamletsyphws@nhs.net

For further information on alcohol harm visit: www.nhs.uk/livewell/alcohol

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