NHS campaign aims to tackle alcoholism

HEALTH bosses have launched a campaign to encourage people to talk openly about alcoholism to help combat drinking.

Its aim, part of Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday (November 25), is to get as many people as possible to discuss alcohol issues such as physical health risks, social problems and the stigmas and taboos associated with talking about the dangers of alcohol.

Alcohol Concern also wants to get people involved and give up alcohol for a month, signing up as an individual or a team to Dry January during January 2013.

Peter Aston, health improvement manager for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Every year we spend around £15.5 million in East Sussex treating and caring for people because of the harm caused by alcohol.

“However, when it comes to talking about alcohol, we tend to avoid discussing that more negative side.”

A member of Hastings and Rother Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) told the Observer: “I have met so many drinkers like myself some not well off, some wealthy, some from dysfunctional backgrounds, some from ideal happy backgrounds, some married, some divorced, some with relatives with drink problems, others with a history of temperance.

“When asked the causes of my drink problem I reply, ‘No idea’.

“What is important is me knowing I have one. I maintain my sobriety by attending AA and helping others to do the same.”

Anyone who is worried about their drinking should call Action for Change on 0300 111 2470 or get help by logging onto www.alcoholconcern.org.uk, or www.drinkaware.co.uk or www.nhs.uk/change4life.