Health leaders from NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging people to drink sensibly over the festive period.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that people in the UK drink 41% more in December than the annual monthly average. In total, about 15,000 people die each year from alcohol misuse – over 3% of all deaths. Some of these deaths are caused by drink driving, which rises sharply at Christmas.
NHS guidelines recommend women drink no more than two to three units a day. Men should stick to a maximum of three to four units. Each of these drinks contain one unit:
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“Most people enjoy a sensible social drink but at times, especially over the Christmas period, lots of people end up drinking more than is good for them. Alcohol can cause life threatening problems and people who drink too much are also far more likely to suffer traumatic injuries from falling over or being hit by moving vehicles. Anyone found guilty of drink driving could lose their licence, get a £5,000 fine, and be sentenced to up to six months in prison.
“When enjoying the Christmas festivities, it’s important to drink in moderation and opt for water or a soft drink every other round to lessen the effects of dehydration. Avoid mixing drinks and pay particular attention to measures when drinking at home as they tend to be more generous. Darker drinks like red wine, brandy and whiskey give worse hangovers because of their higher concentrations of chemicals
“If you do over indulge, the NHS recommends steering clear from alcohol for at least two days. This will give the body time to properly digest what is left in the liver, and recover from the toxic effects of alcohol. Should you become ill through alcohol, Walk-in Centres give health advice and treatment without an appointment and Minor Injuries Units can treat sprains and strains, broken bones and wound infections.”
To use an online unit calculator, visit www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Alcohol-unit-calculator.aspx
For lots of sound advice on sensible drinking, visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol/Pages/Alcoholhome.aspx.