Derbyshire health leaders have warned that there is no such thing as a guaranteed safe level of drinking.
The no-nonsense message was sent out by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to mark Alcohol Awareness Week running to Sunday (24 November).
The CCG plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 patients.
The NHS says that men should not regularly drink more than three or four units of alcohol a day while women should not regularly exceed two or three units. People should avoid alcohol altogether for 48 hours after a heavy drinking session.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“Most people enjoy a sensible social drink without it having any negative effect but at times, especially over the Christmas period, lots of people will go out for a good time and have a few more drinks than they’re used to.
“Drinking more than the recommended limit is a habit that we can all fall into easily – and I’m sure there are many of us enjoy regular drinking with food or at the end of the day to unwind.
“But drinking just a little too much alcohol puts people at greater risk of developing serious illnesses including heart disease, stroke and cancer.
“People who regularly drink two large glasses of wine or two pints of strong beer double their chance of high blood pressure and treble their risk of developing mouth cancer.
But the risks of damage to health are low if drinkers stay within the recommended daily limits.”
Alcohol Awareness Week is an annual event to raise the profile of alcohol-related issues. This year’s theme is “Conversations about alcohol”, which aims to encourage people to talk about the health risks and social problems linked to alcohol and how alcohol is everywhere in society.
Dr Newport added:
“Alcohol causes significant harm in the UK and is responsible for more than 1.2 million hospital admissions a year. Alcohol-related liver disease is also a growing concern, with more and more people developing liver damage because of their drinking.
“Most people think it’s just binge drinkers or the young who drink more than they should but the fact is that many people – usually at home – regularly exceed their recommended daily limits.
“That’s why we’re urging everyone to take a sober look at their drinking during Alcohol Awareness Week and resolve to drink sensibly – not only during the festive period but for always.”
For lots of sound advice on sensible drinking, visit NHS Livewell.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111