Public urged to consider drinking risks

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Beer bottles © Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Beer bottles © Wikipedia/Creative Commons

People in Liverpool are being encouraged to think about the risks caused by excessive drinking during Alcohol Awareness Week, which started today.

The city is nationally one of the worst for alcohol abuse and sees more patients than the country’s average for alcohol-related admissions into hospital each year.

Binge drinking in Liverpool is also seen to be worse than the English and North West average. It can encourage many diseases, such as mouth and stomach cancer, liver damage, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Andrew Ireland, who works at the Public Health Team in Liverpool, told JMU Journalism that the City Council and health experts are working together to raise awareness of the levels of drinking in the city and to reduce the number of units being consumed.

He said: “Alcohol is a massive problem nationally, but in particular Liverpool unfortunately. Around 20 percent of women and 30 percent of men drink above the recommended guideline nationally, but in Liverpool we are up to 40 percent so we really are way ahead of the national average.”

It is recommended that men should drink no more than three to four units a day, the equivalent of around two pints of beer, and a woman’s maximum should be three units daily.

Public Health Liverpool is also urging everyone to consider having two days a week alcohol-free to reduce the chance of related diseases.

Mr Ireland told JMU Journalism: “Our main focus is to plug the message that people should be drinking responsibly. We are not asking people to give up drinking at all, especially prior to Christmas, but we are really urging people to review their drinking habits and try the Dry January Campaign.

“The likes of working men and women who are coming in after a hard day at work are drinking a bottle of wine a night. So even though we are not seeing them falling out of clubs and pubs at five in the morning, they are drinking at hazardous levels.”

Additional reporting by Ruby Molyneux

About Lydia Morris, JMU Journalism