OLDHAM Council and partners are backing Alcohol Awareness week which this year focuses on ‘Alcohol and Families’.
The week runs from 13-19 November and is a great opportunity to start a conversation around problematic alcohol use to help break the cycle of silence and stigma too often experienced by families.
On Wednesday 15 November, there will be an information stand inside Tommyfield Market for people to find out about the support available and chat to advisors about concerns they may have concerning their own or a loved one’s drinking.
Alcohol Concern claims that around 220,000 children in England live with an alcoholic dependent adult.
Alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill health and disability in 15-49 year olds in the UK and is linked to over 60 medical conditions including liver disease, heart disease, some cancers and depression.
A recent healthy survey shows that 22 per cent of adults in Oldham (44,000 people) drink at levels that could put their health at risk (i.e. more than 14 units a week)
Councillor Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Through no fault of their own, it is often innocent children who bear the brunt of alcohol-related harms. Alcohol and childhood do not mix.
“The drinks industry has played a big role in creating a culture of normality towards alcohol. It is probably cheaper and easier to get hold of than any other recreational drug, and as a result people can easily become dependent on it.
“Oldham Council and its partners have a proven track record in helping people to reduce their alcohol intake and are committed to ensuring they lead as healthy a life as possible. However, we know there is much more to do to tackle this national issue.
“I would urge all parents and relatives of children who drink alcohol to take a look at the dangers it could be causing and reach out to the support services offered in Oldham.”
Oldham Council and Clinical Commissioning Group have implemented several key initiatives in recent years to bring down the number of cases of problem drinking and alcohol-related illness.
‘Communities in Charge of Alcohol’ will see volunteers called Community Alcohol Champions being trained to help family members, friends and colleagues to think about and change their drinking habits.
Addiction Dependency Solutions (ADS) is the lead organisation for One Recovery Oldham, which is the substance misuse service. The team runs CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) courses designed to help family members help their loved ones to enter and engage in substance misuse treatment.
Stephen Samuels, One Recovery Oldham Service Manager, said: “Alcohol misuse has wide-ranging impacts across a spectrum of issues and can adversely affect family life.
“At One Recovery Oldham we treat every individual who engages with our service as making a positive decision in their life.
“If anyone feels their drinking is affecting their relationships with, or harming their children and family life, I would encourage them to get in contact with our service – by working together we can make a difference”
Oldham Council also works with pubs and clubs to promote responsible drinking through the six Pub Watch schemes across the borough.
Their key aim is to help achieve a safe, secure and responsibly led social drinking environment in all licensed premises in Oldham.
For more information on ADS Oldham call 0161 624 9595 or visit: http://www.adsolutions.org.uk