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Alcohol – What’s the harm?

Posted on the 17th November 2015

Lancashire residents are being encouraged to think about the how much they drink during national Alcohol Awareness Week this month and about the effects it can have on their health.

Members of staff at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are supporting the awareness week which takes place from 16 to 22 November by promoting healthy drinking habits. The week is led by Alcohol Concern and this year the theme is 'the impact of alcohol on health and society". Alcohol affects our health in many ways which in turn impacts society with 1 in 8 beds provided by the NHS being used to treat alcohol related illness and around 9 million people are drinking more than the recommended guidelines. It"s common to relax with a drink after a long day or to celebrate and the aim of the week isn"t to discourage drinking entirely but to provide education on how much alcohol to drink whilst staying healthy.

Gareth Beck, Health Improvement Specialist from the Health Improvement Service said:

"Alcohol Awareness Week is a great time for us to get messages out to the public around lower risk guidelines so people can make educated decisions around their drinking habits and lifestyle behaviours. Many people don"t realise that excessive alcohol consumption is the second biggest cause of cancer after smoking and can also lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease."

The UK has the highest rate for 'binge" drinking in Europe. The definition of binge drinking is drinking more than double the lower risk guidelines for alcohol in one session. The recommended lower risk guidelines is 3 to 4 units for men and 2 to 3 units for women to include at least 2 or 3 alcohol free days per week, alcohol units can quickly sneak up on you. To check what is classed as a unit please visit

You can find out more information about Alcohol Awareness Week by visiting To find out more information about alcohol and the effects it has on children visit Drink Wise North West"s website at