Led by Alcohol Change UK, Alcohol Awareness Week takes place from 15-21 November with this year’s theme highlighting ‘Alcohol and relationships’. The awareness week aims to get people thinking and talking about alcohol consumption, and motivate change at every level, as individuals, as a community and nationally.
Throughout this week Wiltshire Council will post useful information and guidance using social media. Turning Point, which provides the council’s community drug and alcohol recovery service for those aged 18 and over, will also host some community events; more details of which can be found at https://www.turning-point.co.uk/services/impact
A Public Health England report (Alcohol consumption and harm during the COVID-19 Pandemic), shows that during a 31 week period of pubs and restaurants being closed there was naturally a reduction in on-trade sales nationally, however off-trade sales, such as those in supermarkets increased by roughly 25%.
Locally, the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System estimates there are 3,960 people physically dependent on alcohol living in Wiltshire. Of all the service users in treatment for alcohol misuse with Turning Point in 2019/20, 18% of them were parents with a child/children living with them, which mirrored the national picture.
Cllr Ashley O’Neill, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:
As we know, research has shown that the coronavirus pandemic has affected drinking habits and there has been an increase in people drinking heavily and more regularly.
When we drink too much it can cause problems with our physical and mental health, and this can adversely affect our relationships.
We work with fantastic local partners, Turning Point and Motiv8, that provide quality non-judgemental support and they are always ready to help anyone that may need it.
For anyone under the age of 18, support can be accessed through Motiv8. For those over the age of 18 support can be accessed through Turning Point. Their details, further information and NHS support, can be found at https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-drug-and-alcohol.
More information about Alcohol Awareness Week can be found at www.alcoholchange.org.uk/
For more Public Health updates on this and other matters affecting your health and that of the Wiltshire community follow Public Health Wiltshire (@PHWiltshire) / Twitter