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This month will see many Americans observe Alcohol Awareness Month, which is overseen by the American NCADD (the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.).
While it is primarily observed in America, we feel that alcohol awareness deserves a place in the UK too.
It is all too easy to forget the potential pitfalls and dangers of consuming too much alcohol. That’s not to say that you can’t still enjoy yourself and have a drink, but during April we’d like to raise awareness of this and offer some tips and suggestions on how you can enjoy your alcohol in a sensible way.
Yes, there will always be a small number of people who insist on getting blind drunk every time they go out, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there who would like to be a bit more careful with their alcohol intake and their overall health. Remember, everything in moderation.
Also, contrary to popular belief the hen or stag do isn't all about drinking until you forget your name anymore, nobody wants to forget what could potentially be the best weekend of their life.
Overall it appears that the consumption of alcohol in the UK is on a downward trend, but hospital admissions and use of medication related to alcohol abuse or dependency continue to rise.
According to the HSCIC (Health & Social Care Information Centre), there is a long term downward trend in proportion of adults drinking during the week, with 75% of men and 59% of women drinking during the week in 1998, compared to just 68% and 54% in 2010.
Over 165,000 prescription items were prescribed for treatment of alcohol dependency in 2011, up almost 5% on figures for 2010.
In 2010/11 there were 198,000 hospital admissions where the sole, primary diagnosis was attributable to the consumption of alcohol, a rise of 2.1% on 2009/10 figures.
It’s not all bad though, as the WSTA (Wine and Spirit Trade Association) offers some alternative statistics about alcohol consumption in the UK.
The average weekly alcohol consumption for 2011 was down 11% on 2004.More people are drinking responsibly, with the proportion of 16-24 year old men drinking more than 21 units a week in 2009 was down 9% to 21% from 30% in 2006.
If you’re concerned about the alcohol intake of a friend or yourself then be sure to visit the NHS website, as they offer some great tips and advice. We’ll also been posting some alcohol-related article on the blog throughout April, so be sure to check back regularly.