Alcohol plays a significant role in our social lives and in our economy. It provides enjoyment, employment, generates tax revenue and stimulates the night-time economy.
Although the majority of people who drink do so moderately, alcohol consumption has doubled over the past 40 years. As a result, alcohol is the leading risk factor for deaths among men and women aged 15–49 years in the UK, and there are more than one million alcohol-related hospital admissions every year.
The harm from alcohol goes far beyond individual health affecting families, friends and communities; it contributes to violent crime, domestic violence and absence from work.
Know your units
The current UK guidelines advise limiting alcohol intake to 14 units a week for women and men. This is equivalent to drinking no more than 6 pints of average-strength beer (4% ABV) or 7 medium-sized glasses of wine (175ml, 12% ABV) a week.
Health risks of drinking too much
By making changes to our drinking behaviour we can become healthier and reduce our risk for many serious health conditions including cancer, mental health problems, and liver disease.
For more facts on the health risks associated with drinking alcohol:
Young people and alcohol: a guide for parents and carers
Many parents know drinking increases the risks of accidents, injuries, smoking and drug taking. But many are less aware of the damage alcohol can do to children’s developing brains, liver, bones and hormones, affecting their mood, their mental health and risking them falling behind at school.
Parents are encouraged to visit ‘whatstheharm’ campaign to find out about the facts and the myths about children and alcohol, and how best to have a conversation about alcohol with their child.
What are we doing?
We're committed to reducing alcohol-related harms and supporting a sensible drinking culture throughout the borough.
We're working together with a number of different organisations and have formed a Barnsley Alcohol Alliance. We have an Alcohol Plan in place, with seven priorities and a number of outcomes we want to achieve, including the following:
- reducing the amount of people diagnosed with alcohol-related liver disease;
- reducing the amount of alcohol related hospital admissions,
- reducing the amount of alcohol related crime and disorder;
- reducing the amount of dependent drinkers;
- increasing awareness and understanding of alcohol related harm across the Barnsley population
Where to get help for alcohol problems
Your GP is a good place to start if you're concerned about the amount of alcohol you're drinking.
Support is also available from our Alcohol and Drug service which can be accessed via self or professional referral.
You can also get more information at Alcohol Change UK.