Raising awareness on the harm of alcohol

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Drinking. Pic © JMU Journalism

The chronic effects that alcohol can have on individuals, families, communities and society were brought into focus during Alcohol Awareness Week 2017.

It is a national campaign which aims to break the cycle of silence and stigma that is often experienced by as a result of individuals who regularly drink to excess.

The goal of the initiative, which finishes on Sunday, is to get people thinking about alcohol, and with over 800 local authorities, charities and services taking part, this year was the biggest so far.

According to current Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, there were 8,758 alcohol-related deaths in the UK.

Recent studies ranked Liverpool as the country’s highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions at 2,860 per 100,000 people, as well as finding 242 people in the Liverpool City Region had died from drink-specific conditions.

YouTube: BBC Three

A spokesperson for Alcohol Concern told JMU Journalism: “Living in a home with addiction and trauma is complex and it impacts on your life as an adult in so many ways. Dedicating one week to just talk and understand the issues alcohol can bring to many different people can make such a difference.

“We need to break the stigma, educate ourselves and others so we can be much more aware and sensitive to the issue.”

Among the events staged locally, Merseyside Maritime Museum held sessions to enable pupils to learn about the effects and consequences of the use and misuse of alcohol. This is achieved through critical thinking, discussion and hands-on interactive learning, led by trained and experienced members of the museum’s education team.

Also, the Tomorrow’s Women Wirral (TWW) held related activities all week. TWW comunications officer, Kate Menear, said: “Al-Anon family groups will be speaking at our alcohol & families event, reflecting on the experiences and the support received from Tomorrow’s Women Wirral.”

About Alex Amadeo, JMU Journalism