ALCOHOL AWARENESS WEEK
15th to 19th NOVEMBER 2021
This year’s Alcohol Awareness Week takes place from 15th to 19th November.
Many of us drink alcohol for a variety of reasons: to relax, to socialise, to have fun, to relieve boredom, to cope with problems … but drinking too much can cause or exacerbate all sorts of problems with our physical and mental health along with damaging our relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
Alcohol is something many of us reach for when we’re feeling stressed, anxious or worried. While alcohol may initially help us to relax – the effects are short-lived.
In the long run and if misused alcohol can make stress harder to deal with, and even contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.
As well as having a significant impact on your health, alcohol misuse can also have long-term social implications. For example, it can lead to:-
- Family break-up and divorce
- Domestic abuse
- Financial problems
- Work performance e.g. Absences and work accidents
How alcohol affects your mental health
Alcohol can actually increase anxiety and stress rather than reduce it and in the long run it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with.
Using alcohol to cope with difficult feelings or problems can create more problems. You may not realise that drinking is affecting your mental health. But there can be very early warning signs which would include disturbed sleep, low mood and experiencing anxiety in situations where you would normally feel comfortable. Alcohol alters our brain chemistry as it acts as a depressant which means it can disrupt that balance, affecting our thoughts, feelings and actions and sometimes our long-term mental health.
How Alcohol affects your body:-
- Your workouts and fitness activity will suffer
- Alcohol will increase your appetite and weight gain
- Alcohol can lead to fatigue and tiredness
- Alcohol can zap your brain power
- Cause irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Poor sleep patterns
- Your blood pressure will spike along with cholesterol problems
- Alcohol will lower your mood
- Causes many short and long term medical issues
- Causes memory and concentration problems
- Causes anxiety and depression
Know your limit?
The recommended weekly low-risk alcohol guidelines for adults are:-
- Women: Less than 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) spread out over the week, with at least two alcohol-free days
- Men: Less than 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) spread out over the week, with at least two alcohol-free days
If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s drinking habits, you can get information or advice by contacting your GP or one of the following organisations:-