Significantly higher rates of young people in Swindon are being admitted to hospital for alcohol related illnesses, than the average for the rest of England, NHS Swindon has reported.
As part of Alcohol Awareness week which takes place this week, NHS Swindon is encouraging young people to drink sensibly and understand the ‘know your limits’ campaign.
The Keeping Swindon Safe bus has been visiting locations around Swindon this week. On board the bus were a number of health professionals including specially trained alcohol outreach nurses and Swindon’s Community Safety Partnership staff. Staff were on hand to offer advice and information about alcohol.
On Saturday (23 October), there will be a replica car crash in Swindon’s town centre (by the big screen), to show the horrific effects drinking and driving can have. The police, fire service and NHS staff will be on the scene offering information to and answering questions from passers by.
In one year, 132 patients under 18 were admitted to hospital with alcohol related conditions. This is higher than the average amount for the rest of England.
Acting Head of Health Inequalities Frances Mayes said: ‘Your chances of suffering from liver disease, mouth, throat (and other) cancers, stomach, heart and mental health problems increase if you regularly drink too much alcohol. Most people who have health problems from drinking aren’t alcoholics; they’re just people who’ve regularly been drinking more than is advised.
‘You might not immediately see the effects of drinking too much alcohol but it can emerge later in life and by then there can be serious problems. This is why it is especially important that young people know their limits and avoid binge drinking.
‘Research has shown that the attitude of parents has a significant impact of the drinking habits of their children. Young people are far less likely to drink if their parents do not drink or if they report that their parents would disapprove of them drinking.
‘There are many ways to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink and still have fun. Before you start drinking, set yourself a limit on how much you’re going to drink. When going out only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol. You can still enjoy a drink but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer or a small glass of wine. Cut down the alcohol by swapping a strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength.’
Anyone concerned about their drinking should visit their GP. Local services include U-Turn for under 18 year olds and for those 18 and over it is SWADS. Both will provide advice to people worried about their own drinking or the drinking habits of someone else.
U-Turn 01793 465040
SWADS 01793 695405