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alcohol health alliance uk

The risks of regular drinking to be x-plained in Northumberland

Posted 24/05/11

Residents in Prudhoe will be given x-ray vision to see the hidden damage drinking alcohol daily or almost daily could be doing to their internal organs.

The Prudhoe Medical Group will be at Waterworld on Thursday 26th May between 6 - 8pm and at The Glade on Prudhoe Front Street on Saturday 28th May from 10am - 12 noon to encourage the town’s residents to drink within the recommended limits and reduce their risk of alcohol-related conditions.

Shoppers will come face to face with a life sized x-ray of a human body and shown the places where alcohol-related diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, dementia, as well as mouth, throat and liver cancer could strike.

Doctors from the Prudhoe Medical Group, along with members of Prudhoe Medical Patient Group, will be on hand to offer advice and hand out information. They will also be challenging the public to a pouring test, to encourage people to look at the alcohol measures they use at home, and giving away free unit measures.

Dr John Green from the Prudhoe Medical Group, has been working closely with Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, to highlight the issue. He said: “A lot of the patients we see aren’t aware of all the health risks associated with alcohol so this is a great way to highlight the dangers and ensure people in our community understand units and the safe limits.

“Many people don’t appreciate that most people who suffer from health problems because of their drinking are not alcoholics or binge drinkers but those who drink every day, or almost every day, over a number of years. Many suffer few immediate consequences, but over time it takes its toll.”

Research, carried out by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, has revealed that around a third of North East drinkers - two in five male drinkers and almost a third of female drinkers - are drinking at or above the Government’s recommended limits on a daily or almost daily basis. This could be storing up future health problems.

The limits are 2-3 units a day, or roughly a standard glass and a half of wine, for a woman and 3-4 units, or about two pints of regular strength beer or lager, for a man.

Scientific evidence suggests that:

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, added: In the North East, too many of us are drinking more than we should on a regular basis. At the same time, rates of death from alcohol related liver disease are increasing and alcohol specific hospital admissions are higher than the national average.

“It’s easier to stay within the limits when you keep track of how much you are drinking. People are often surprised to find out how much they drinking on a daily or almost daily basis as it is fairly common for us to underestimate how much we consume. Keeping a drinks diary is a perfect way to take stock and is a first step towards living a healthier life.”

Visit www.balancenortheast.co.uk/harm to find out more and request a free information booklet.