Conversations at the heart of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week in Leeds

Leeds City Council are backing this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from 18th – 24th November 2013, working with Alcohol Concern and other agencies to help people make sure they are aware of the impact alcohol has on their lives.

It is estimated Leeds has over 32,500 dependent drinkers and as part of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board’s announcement of their drug and alcohol strategy, the council is committed to reducing this figure, tackling not just the significant harm for people’s longer term health but the wider impact on the community too.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“The aim of Alcohol Awareness Week is to encourage people to have the right conversations about alcohol and think about how it can affect us as individuals, families, communities and society. By doing this we can make positive changes to our relationship with alcohol.”

“It isn’t unusual to have a drink or two and most people enjoy some of the positive things about having a drink, unwinding and relaxing as a sociable and enjoyable part of meeting with friends for instance.

"The problem with alcohol is that sometimes one drink can very easily lead to another and before you know it, you might have drunk more than you intended.”

Dr Ian Cameron, Director of Public Health for Leeds, said:

“We know areas that spend less on alcohol tend to have a higher rate of alcohol hospital admissions, which suggests some people living in the more deprived areas are consuming larger amounts of cheaper alcohol, which in turn can cause alcohol related harm and increased hospital admissions.

“Alcohol is the second biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking, as well being associated with other medical conditions such as liver and heart disease. It is also a factor in many accidents. So we know risks to health aren’t just due to dependency. Being aware of what you drink and keeping to safe levels can make a huge difference to your health and your pocket.”

NHS advice on drinking recommends that men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day and women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day. The advice also recommends having at least two alcohol free days a week.

There is evidence that five minutes of structured advice is effective in reducing health risks from alcohol in 1 in 8 individuals. Support, more free information and advice is available at: www.leedsletschange.co.uk.

- Ends –

Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council, 4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 0772 227 5370

Tel: 0113 395 0393

Fax: 0113 247 4736


Notes to Editors:

More statistics and data about alcohol are available at: http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/campaign/statistics-on-alcohol

There are a number of local specialist alcohol services, including:

Addiction Dependency Solutions (ADS) is a community alcohol service offering advice, support and treatment for those affected by alcohol. Clients can self-refer by telephone, email or by dropping in.

A: 18 East Parade, Leeds, LS1 2BH.

T: (0113) 247 0111

E: leeds@ADSolutions.org.uk

W: www.ADSolutions.org.uk

Leeds Addiction Unit (LAU) is a citywide service for people presenting with complex issues associated with substance misuse. Such issues include severe and enduring mental illness, complex poly drug use, pregnant women, safeguarding issues etc.

A: 19 Springfield Mount, Leeds, LS2 9NG. Or can call directly to make an enquiry/appointment.

T: (0113) 855 9540

W: www.leedspft.nhs.uk/our_services/leeds_addiction_unit

Platform Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Service works with people under the age of 18 with the aim to help young people make informed and educated choices about their lifestyles.

A: 20 York Place

T: (0113) 397 1300

E: platformleeds@disc-vol.org.uk

W: www.platformleeds-online.org.uk