Wishing you a Merry (and moderate) Christmas!
02/12/2014As the Christmas and party season approaches the Southern Trust wishes to remind people of the potential health and wellbeing consequences of drinking too much over the festive period. If you choose to drink alcohol over the Christmas period, aim to stay within safe alcohol limits in order to take care of yourself and others. The Trust delivers a range of alcohol and drug related prevention and treatment services across the Trust’s area. Services, all of which are free, include one to one and group education sessions, accredited training, prevention programmes, parent and family support and treatment and care services.
Deirdre Magill, Drugs and Alcohol Co-ordinator, Southern Trust said: “It is estimated that 19% of adults regularly drink in excess of the recommended safe amounts of alcohol and this is likely to increase over the festive period. These limits are recommended by the government in order to protect our physical health/emotional wellbeing against many of the long term risk factors associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
If you think you might have a problem with alcohol or drugs, help is available. You can talk to your GP. If your family members or friends have expressed concerns that you are drinking too much, it is time to listen and talk about the health risks, social problems and stigmas associated with drinking and or taking drugs. For information contact the Southern Trust’s Drug and Alcohol Team on Tel: 028 3083 4325.”
Daily alcohol limits are recommended by the Government in order to avoid the health and social consequences of excessive drinking. These are:
It is recommended that men drink no more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day and no more than 21 units over the course of the week.
It is recommended that women drink no more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day and no more than 14 units over the course of the week.
Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid drinking alcohol.
It is recommended that you do not consume alcohol every day or consume your weekly amounts over 1 or 2 sittings. The risk to health increases with every unit consumed over the recommended safe daily limit. Health risks include: cancer, including breast and liver cancer; strokes and heart problems; pancreatitis; gastritis; high blood pressure; fertility problems; mental health problems and temporary impotence.
You can download an Alcohol Units Calculator and complete an Alcohol MOT questionnaire on the Southern Trust’s website www.southerntrust.hscni.net - Healthy Living - Alcohol and Drugs.
If you do choose to drink alcohol:
• Ever drink and drive
• Drink on an empty stomach
• Mix alcohol with other drugs
• Drink in rounds as this may speed up your drinking
• Leave your drinks unattended
• Take sips rather than gulps
• Alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink e.g. water or a soft drink
• Set yourself a limit and try to stick to it (refer to daily alcohol limits)
• Take frequent breaks from drinking to give your body time to recover
• Tell friends and family where you are going and who you will be with
For further information or to enquire about a workshop for your team/ family/ group/ or business contact Sinead Rafferty or Deirdre Magill on Tel: 028 3083 4325 or Email: Sinead.email@example.com or Deirdre.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.southerntrust.hscni.net - Healthy Living - Alcohol and Drugs.
For information on alcohol limits and where to get help for both alcohol and drug problems see www.knowyourlimits.info and for tips on broaching the subject of alcohol with your child see www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/you-your-child-and-alcohol