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This January try Thinking about your Drinking


As drinkers recover from their collective festive excess, pharmacies across Wales are sharing a Go Low, Go Slow, Go Small’ message to help every adult improve their long term health. Public Health Wales is working with Community Pharmacy Wales, the Welsh Government and Royal Pharmaceutical Society Wales throughout January to


share a


nationwide alcohol awareness campaign that underlines the harms of regular and excessive alcohol consumption, and provide information to help people think more about their drinking options and tips to cut down. Designed to run alongside Alcohol


Concern’s annual Dry January, anyone who consumes alcohol is being asked to think about what they drink, learn about its eff ects, and use their knowledge help reduce their health risks.


Russell Goodway of Community Pharmacy Wales said: “If you drink at all it always worth checking the amount and pattern of your drinking. We urge people to Go Low, Go Slow, Go Small. These simple steps can help us take control and reduce own health risks. “In practice this means ‘go low’ by choosing lower alcohol drinks, or having more soft drinks; ‘go slow’ by drinking more slowly, or with food; and ‘go small’ by opting


for smaller glasses and bottles rather than pints, and avoiding multi-buy off ers.” In Wales alcohol misuse is a major health issue that aff ects the well-being of individuals, families and communities. The number of deaths and hospital admissions linked to alcohol has risen in recent years. In 2015/16, 463 alcohol related deaths were reported in Wales and just over 54,000 hospital admissions which could be wholly or partially attributable to alcohol, rising to 504 deaths and nearly 55,000 hospital admissions in 2016/17, of which 13,512 were wholly attributable to alcohol. There is no safe limit for drinking alcohol, but


guidelines advise that the health risks can be reduced by: • Drinking fewer than 14 units a week • Spreading your drinking over three or more days • Having at least 2 completely alcohol free days each week • Not drinking at all if you are, or suspect you may be, pregnant. For anyone that is concerned about their level of alcohol consumption, any one of the 716 community pharmacies in Wales can help. They provide a range of options that will help any member of the public assess the amount of alcohol they consume, and give advice on how to change drinking behaviours for the better.” Sian Evans, Consultant in Public Health, Public Health Wales, said: “Sometimes we don’t realise how much alcohol we’re drinking and don’t really stop to think about it, but there are some simple things we can all


do to protect our own health by cutting down or quitting drinking.” Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said: “Most of us will feel like we’ve overindulged during the festive period, and the New Year presents an opportunity for us to refl ect on our choices and take responsibility for our health. While we want people to enjoy this time of year, we also


want people to consider the harms associated with drinking too much alcohol. “Tackling alcohol misuse remains a priority for the Welsh Government, as alcohol remains a major cause of death and illness. To keep up-to-date with information during Thinking about your Drinking month use the


Twitter hash tag #ThinkDrink2018.


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www.cardiffandsouthwalesadvertiser.com Cardiff & South Wales Advertiser - Friday 19th January 2018 - 5


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