We're supporting Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from Monday 15 to Sunday 21 November 2021.
This year's theme is alcohol and relationships, so we're encouraging everyone to look at their relationship with alcohol and how alcohol impacts themselves and those around them.
The reasons people drink alcohol are varied, and some can be quite complex. While someone may have a drink to socialise or reward themselves after a tough week at work, others may drink to relieve boredom or try to cope with the death of a loved one.
Drinking too much in any circumstances can be problematic and have a negative effect on our lives. It could worsen our physical and mental health as well as damage our relationships with family and friends.
On the other hand, people can often find themselves being ‘sober shamed’ for choosing not to drink rather than having their decision and personal boundaries respected, which can impact on friendships.
Statistics have shown that we have been drinking more since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but taking control of our drinking can lead to better outcomes for us all physically, mentally and emotionally.
Councillor Jim Andrews, Cabinet spokesperson for Public Health, said: "Alcohol is often the focal point of our relationships with others, but our own relationship with alcohol can come with and cause its own problems.
"We know there are links between alcohol and mental health and other issues, such as domestic abuse, and alcohol has also been linked to cancers, so it can affect our physical health too.
"Opening up about problem drinking is so important and can lead to making positive changes. It's vital that people know there is help and support available if they need it in Barnsley."
Support is available locally for people who need it:
- Barnsley Recovery Steps is a commissioned drug and alcohol recovery service dedicated to helping people be free from drug and alcohol dependency.
- The Umbrella service is a commissioned mental health service offering early intervention and prevention support.
- Our Young People’s Substance Misuse Service is a voluntary, free and confidential specialist drug and alcohol service for young people up to the age of 18 who are affected by their own, or someone else's substance use, at any level. Please email YPSMS@barnsley.gov.uk for more information.
- The Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS) is a commissioned service in Barnsley that provides advice and guidance to people and their families who suffer from domestic abuse. Call them on 03000 110 110 or the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.