That’s the message from Hampshire Alcohol Partnership to encourage football fans to think about their drinking as World Cup excitement starts this June.
Nearly one in five Hampshire residents drink more than the safe recommended levels each week and with the onset of the World Cup alcohol consumption is likely to be higher. Past World Cups have been associated with increased accidents, leading to more visits to Accident & Emergency departments and higher levels of violence and domestic abuse.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at Hampshire County Council, explained, “We want families to enjoy the football this summer, but would encourage everyone, while watching the games, to also watch how much they drink. A pint of strong lager or beer can contain up to three units of alcohol, which matches the number of units recommended per day for men. If you want advice on your drinking and to check out your units, visit www.hants.gov.uk/drink-less. ”
But is drinking a bit more for a few weeks really that bad? For men, regularly drinking more than one pint of strong lager a day means you could be up to 2.5 times more likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat and twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis. Many alcoholic drinks also contain a surprising number of calories, leading to weight gain, fatigue and sometimes depression.
The Hampshire Alcohol Partnership aims to minimise the harms and impacts from alcohol to individuals, families and communities, in Hampshire. The Partnership is a multi-agency collaboration between the police, local authorities, and NHS Alcohol Treatment Services. The Partnership has arranged for special ‘Rethink your drink this summer’ scratch cards, to be circulated across the county through community safety partnerships. These cards help people to work out how much they are drinking and signpost those who want more information on how to keep the number of drinks to a minimum during the World Cup, to www.hants.gov.uk/drink-less.
The Hampshire Alcohol Partnership ‘Rethink your drink this summer’ campaign will be running throughout the World Cup (12 June – 13 July, 2014). Scratch cards that reveal safe drinking levels will be available in a variety of local venues. If individuals have concerns about the amount they drink, or would like more information, they can visit www.hants.gov.uk/drink-less.
The Hampshire Alcohol Strategy 2010-15 is available at: http://www.hants.gov.uk/hampshire-alcohol-strategy-2011-15.pdf
For more information about what help and support is available for people suffering from domestic abuse, visit www.hampshiredomesticabuse.org.uk