Last week Charities, Drug and Alcohol Action Teams, health boards, service providers and many others took part in Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) 2011. Here's a glimpse at some of the activity that took place.
Alcohol Concern, who lead AWW, highlighted the harm caused by alcohol as part of its Charter for a world free from alcohol harm. Alcohol problems across the UK cost the NHS approximately £48K every minute, with over 100 people admitted to hospital every hour, the national Charity said. More than are 40 people dying every day, and every week over 100 children telephone Child-line affected by their carers drinking.
Regionally, Balance North East ran a conference chaired by Fiona Trott of the BBC exploring the harm to others, especially children, and also held a campaign against advertising targeting young people. Drinkwise NorthWest called for 'alcohol champions', releasing resources to support those acting to reduce alcohol misuse.
Elsewhere, a blog on the new Alcohol Research UK site explored the role of AAW and whether there is a risk of "nannying" through alcohol messages, a subject also previously explored by Phil Mellows. AAW also featured on Eagle Radio who looked at pricing, highlighting alcohol as 75% more affordable today than 30 years ago. Drinkaware did not appear to run anything specific for AAW.
Locally, Sheffield DAAT organised a memorial service in the Cathedral for those who had lost someone due to alcohol, whilst others delivered a "Know your Limits" message. Fylde Borough council amongst others arranged alcohol-free “mocktail” events. In Essex, EYPDAS highlighted that 630,000 under 18yr olds were drinking alcohol twice or more each week in the UK.
ReFresh, an organisation working with young people in Hull highlighted 130 youngsters were admitted to Hull Royal Infirmary with acute intoxication in the past year. Service manager Laura Starky attributed rising problems to the strength, cost and availability of alcohol as ReFresh launched a prevention programme aimed at 3,000 young people. The programme includes work with parents and helps young people make informed choices about the risks of alcohol misuse.