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Council support during Alcohol Awareness Week 3-9 July 2023
|Many people don’t know how much they’re drinking, what the true cost of alcohol is, or how it might be affecting their health.
City of York Council is joining over 5,000 community groups across the UK as part of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week, which is managed and hosted by UK charity Alcohol Change UK and runs from 3 to 9 July 2023.
In line with this year’s theme, ‘the true cost of alcohol’, we’re inviting York residents to think positively: what could we gain by drinking less?
The Health Trainer service, and local partners Changing Lives and York in Recovery will be promoting York’s Lower My Drinking quiz and advice website and offering face-to-face advice and support at events throughout the week.
The Lower My Drinking website is free and provides guidance around low risk drinking levels, the effects alcohol has on health and wellbeing and tips for reducing drinking, along with details of relevant support available in York.
York residents, aged 18 and over, can check how much alcohol they’re drinking by completing the short quiz. It only takes a few minutes!
The guidance provides personalised information based on the results, with the option to download the Lower My Drinking app.
It also provides residents information about relevant individual support in York such as Changing Habits or the Health Trainer service, if they’d like support to reduce their alcohol consumption and gain the benefits.
Cllr Jo Coles, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care, said:
“Across York we know that across the city around 1 in 5 adults drink more than the recommended weekly alcohol level and that as a city we have particularly high numbers of people who are admitted to hospital with alcohol-related conditions. We also know that cutting down alcohol consumption improves people’s health and lowers the risks of a range of illnesses such as heart disease and breast cancer.
“The Lower my Drinking quiz is about supporting residents to know and understand more about their drinking and to get advice on how to cut down. All York residents are entitled to take part in the quiz for free.”
Dr James Hunter, GP Partner at Haxby Group, York, said:
“Most people are aware of the many harms of excessive drinking but see this as a problem that applies to others. What people are less aware of is the substantial health benefits from ‘lowering your drinking’ even for those who might say they have a fairly modest alcohol intake.
“The Lower My Drinking quiz is a great starting point to reflect on how much you’re drinking and the app is a useful tool to support you to make positive changes if relevant. I’d encourage every adult in York who drinks any alcohol at all to take the quiz!”
Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive of Alcohol Change UK, said:
“The average UK adult spends a huge amount of money on alcohol in a lifetime. We might expect that we would experience some significant benefits as a result.
“But the truth is that, although alcohol can bring us some short-term pleasure, it can also encourage us to ‘overdo it’, reducing our inhibitions and putting our health, relationships, and safety at risk. This can be detrimental to our own physical and mental health and to that of those around us, as well as to our wallets.
“Drinking regularly or heavily puts us at greater risk of: heart disease, liver disease, stroke, increased blood pressure, and cancer, including throat cancer and breast cancer. It can cause tensions and disagreements with those around us and put a strain on our finances too. Plus, once drunk, it can make it harder to keep track of how many drinks we have had, putting us at greater risk of more immediate harm.
“But by taking control of our drinking, we can save money, improve our health, have more energy, improve our memory, have better sleep, reduce anxiety, improve our mood, and have better relationships.
“A great way to start is by recording what you drink for a few weeks to help you understand your drinking pattern, then setting yourself some small achievable goals.”
Support with alcohol:
Anyone concerned about their own, or a friend/family member’s drinking, can access help at whatever level it might be needed.
The Lower My Drinking website will help people to work out what support is most relevant for them.
York residents can find out more about the range of help and support available (including for families affected by a family member’s drinking), via the Live Well York website.
Or to speak to someone to discuss the support options available, get in touch today with the Health Trainer team via the short online form at: www.york.gov.uk/CYCHealthTrainers or call 01904 553377.