Agencies combine to launch alcohol awareness week

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Dumfries and Galloway Council, National Health Service, Police Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership, Alcohol and Drugs Support South West Scotland and Addaction are launching an alcohol awarness week.

The week will commence on 14 November and give formation to the public in the form of social media posts highlighting the concerns of the over-indulgence of alcohol. This will highlight how alcohol affects not only a person’s thinking, but also their physical and mental health.

The Alcohol Awareness Week will cover the following subjects:-

Monday 14th November – Alcohol and cancer

Tuesday 15th November – Alcohol and depression

Wednesday 16th November – Alcohol and dementia

Thursday 17th November – Alcohol and breast cancer

Friday 18th November – Alcohol and diabetes

Saturday 19th November - Alcohol and hypertension

Sunday 20th November – Alcohol and brain damage

Information will be provided to the public from the agencies’ social media sites; but will also be communicated to their employees through their own internal communication systems.

The information provided is purely educational and to raise awareness and is aimed at any person who may be concerned about their own alcohol use, or anyone connected with them. It is hoped they will digest the information and, if pertinent, make the necessary subtle changes to allow them to live a healthier life.

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie, Area Commander, Dumfries and Galloway Division of Police Scotland, states: “We fully support the Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership’s Alcohol Awareness Week. We recognise, like all the other agencies taking part, the problems caused by alcohol abuse and for the police, it goes beyond the obvious health implications. Every weekend, local officers are called to deal with individuals in violent or aggressive situations whose behaviour is entirely influenced by the amount of alcohol they’ve consumed and who quite simply would not behave in that way or come to the attention of police had they not drunk quite so much. We also see a high number of individuals who have placed themselves in dangerous situations and become victims of crime because they’ve made poor decisions, again as a result of their level of intoxication. An inordinate amount of police time is spent dealing with these incidents, police time which could be put to far better use in preventing crime, patrolling problematic areas and dealing with community priorities, but more importantly people have to understand that as soon as they become so intoxicated that they can’t make sound decisions, they are making themselves vulnerable and putting themselves at risk. “

Jackie Davies, Alcohol and Drug Co-ordinator, states: “The aim of the week is to get people talking about alcohol, how it affects us as individuals, families, communities and a society as a whole. It is hoped by providing this information that persons will re-educate themselves and make subtle changes in their alcohol drinking habits, thus allowing them to live healthier happy lives.

Hugh Robertson, Service Manager, Addaction Dumfries and Galloway states “ Addaction welcome this development of continuing public awareness of the risks associated with alcohol use and fully support Alcohol Awareness Week. Week in and week out we see people coming into service whose lives have been affected to a greater or lesser extent by alcohol. These can be individuals who are experiencing personal issues, family members or concerned others. Public perception of substance misuse invariably swings towards drug misuse but evidence and statistics show that there is far greater effect on society by misuse of alcohol. We would encourage individuals to consider the messages from the week and if in any way they are concerned contact Addaction or one of our partner agencies within the Alcohol and Drug partnership.

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ronnie Nicholson said: “The Council is pleased to be supporting Alcohol Awareness Week 2016. The aim of this Week is to get people thinking about the risks of alcohol and how it can affect their health. Recognising the importance of the issue, along with our partners from across our region, the Council is proud to be a members of the Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership. The partnership is responsible for planning and joining up the various initiatives across the region to tackle alcohol and drugs misuse, and to try and prevent it becoming a problem for people. It is important that we as a Council protect our most vulnerable and offer the correct support to the people who need it.”

Dr Angela Roberts – Chief Executive, Alcohol and Drugs Support, South West Scotland: “The misuse of alcohol is still, unfortunately, causing significant harm to individuals, their families and friends and the wider community. In our experience, there is no “typical” person who comes to Alcohol and Drugs Support South West Scotland [ADS] for help and support. People from all walks of life, rich and poor, male and female, can have their lives blighted by the problems problematic alcohol use can lead to. In addition to the obvious impacts on health, other aspects of life such as finances, relationships, employment and life chances can all be badly affected. They say that prevention is better than cure, which is why we are delighted to support this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week. With new safe drinking limits having recently been released, with levels for men being reduced to the same as for women [no more than 14 units per week], it’s never been more important for communities in Dumfries and Galloway to take notice and # Know the Risks”

Dr Andrew Carnon, Interim Director of Public Health: “NHS Dumfries and Galloway are pleased to be supporting Alcohol Awareness Week 2016. Alcohol can be an important factor in many health conditions, including cancers, high blood pressure, mental health issues and brain damage. Many people are risking their health by regularly drinking too much and may not realise the harm their drinking could cause them. That’s why it’s important to remind people of the risks and sensible drinking guidelines. Dumfries and Galloway NHS, “NHS Dumfries and Galloway are pleased to be supporting Alcohol Awareness Week 2016. Alcohol can be an important factor in many health conditions, including cancers, high blood pressure, mental health issues and brain damage. Many people are risking their health by regularly drinking too much and may not realise the harm their drinking could cause them. That’s why it’s important to remind people of the risks and sensible drinking guidelines. ”