B&NES Council is supporting Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 (13th-19th November), which will focus on encouraging individuals and their families to start a conversation about problematic alcohol misuse.
The national campaign aims to break the cycle of silence and stigma that is often experienced by families of individuals who regularly drink to excess.
There are currently over 10 million people in England drinking at levels which increase their risk of health harm.
Alcohol related harm is estimated to cost the NHS £3.5 billion annually and the latest data for Bath and North East Somerset shows around 3,300 admissions to hospital for illness or injury resulting from alcohol-related harm in 2015/16.
Across the period 2013/14 – 2015/16, there were 55 admissions to hospital for under 18-year-olds for alcohol misuse in B&NES – higher than the average for England.
The local figure has decreased from 88 in the 2008/9 – 2010/11 period.
Among those aged 15 to 49 in England, alcohol is now the leading risk factor for ill-health, early mortality and disability and the fifth-leading risk factor for ill health across all age groups. In 2014 there were an estimated 23,000 deaths related to alcohol use in England.
Dr Bruce Laurence, Director of Public Health for Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We fully recognise how hard it is for families to ask for help when they are affected by a loved one’s use of alcohol because of the stigma attached to it.
“We have high quality support services locally and I would urge anyone who is affected by this to pop in for a chat or give them a call. They are an open and friendly service available free to everyone without judgement.
“B&NES Council supports Alcohol Concern’s aim to support families who are struggling to cope with the effect of harmful drinking on their loved ones.
“If you want to speak to someone about a family member suffering from the effects of alcohol harm, you can contact our local service Families Also Matter (FAM) on 01225 329411.”
If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s drinking you can contact (in confidence): DHI Bath 01225 329411 or visit their website: http://www.dhi-online.org.uk/.
If you want to speak to someone about a family member suffering from the effects of alcohol harm, you can contact local service Families Also Matter (FAM) on 01225 329411.