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Why is Alcohol Awareness Week so important?

Seeing as it’s Alcohol Awareness Week, Port of Call gives you our considered opinion about why this attention raising initiative is such an important event on the calendar in terms of helping dependent drinkers to access the help that could make all the difference.

Organisations across the UK will be raising awareness of alcohol issues and the impact it can have on our health and communities over the course of Alcohol Awareness Week from 16-22 November. The theme of this year’s awareness week is “The impact of alcohol on health and society.”

Sobering statistics* about UK alcohol consumption

Alcohol Awareness Week is important because the statistics from leading alcohol charity, Alcohol Concern, frankly make for sobering reading. According to their General Lifestyle Survey 2011, more than nine million people in England drink more than the recommended daily limits and an estimated 7.5 million people are unaware of the damage their drinking could be causing.

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The health cost, both individually and societally, is far too high right now. Alcohol misuse in England alone costs around £21 billion each year in healthcare, crime and lost productivity and accounts for 10% of the UK burden of disease and death – third only to smoking and obesity.

The NHS estimates that around 9% of men in the UK and 4% of UK women show signs of alcohol dependence. However, a mere 6.4% of dependent drinkers actually access treatment. That is a figure that needs addressing for the health of the nation. For every £1 invested in specialist alcohol treatment, £5 is saved on health, welfare and crime costs.

What a huge difference alcohol treatment can make on every level.

Health risks, social problems, stigmas and taboos of drinking

The aim of Alcohol Awareness Week is to get people thinking and talking about the health risks, social problems, stigmas and taboos of drinking and to challenge stereotypes about who is likely to be drinking too much.

Martin Preston, CEO of Port of Call, said: “It can’t be understated just how important the work of Alcohol Concern and their alcohol awareness campaigns is to the health of the nation. While we might think that Britain’s drinking problem is all too well-publicised by now, the health risks associated with drinking too much still seem to go unheeded to a large extent.

That’s why we need to have these public awareness drives to keep the dangers of alcoholism at the forefront of the public consciousness. Perhaps the most worrying statistic, as far as Port of Call is concerned, is that very few dependent drinkers seem able or willing to access treatment.

“Whether that be for reasons of shame, guilt, embarrassment or fear – whatever it is, our message to them is that we are here to help and that reaching out is never as bad as it might initially seem. So please, speak to one of our advisers today to get the help you need and deserve,” he added.

Make us your first Port of Call. If you, or a loved one, are dealing with alcohol addiction we can help you to access the right addiction help at the right time. Our team are trained to guide you through your options, whether that is detox or alcohol rehab. We can help you find a rehab suited to you, wherever you’re based. Take the first step today by speaking to one of our advisers for free on 08000029010.

About the author: Martin Preston

Martin is our Founder and Chief Executive. Martin is himself in long term recovery and started Port of Call to help families navigate treatment options. In 2020 Martin will open Delamere Health Ltd, the UK’s first purpose built addiction treatment clinic.

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