RESIDENTS of Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being asked to rethink their drink during Alcohol Awareness Week by Public Health Dorset and partners.

Public Health Dorset along with partners such as Poole Hospital, Addaction, EDAS, LiveWell Dorset and BCP Council will be hosting a number of events across the county informing how alcohol can affect society and families.

The events are also a chance to learn about tools and tips to help people ‘Rethink Drink’ and raising awareness of the services provided to help people reduce their alcohol intake and change their relationship with alcohol if they want to.

William Haydock, Public Health Dorset’s senior health programme advisor, said: “In the south west 24 per cent of the population are drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

"In Dorset this works out to be 66,098 people. And in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area it equates to 68,493 residents.

“Though we know many people can enjoy alcohol responsibly, we want to highlight some of the risks of drinking too much alcohol and what services we have in Dorset to help people break bad habits.”

The national guideline is that no-one should exceed 14 units of alcohol a week, which roughly translates to six pints of lager or a bottle and a half of wine.

There are a number of events to find out more about the effects of alcohol:

  • Monday 11 and Thursday 14 November at The Dome in Poole Hospital, from 10am-2pm, Alcoholics Anonymous will be available to talk to about reducing your alcohol intake.
  • Wednesday November 13 at The Dome in Poole Hospital, from 10am-2pm, Poole Hospital’s ACTS Team will be talking about what services the hospital offer and also have facts about how much alcohol-related harms costs to the NHS.
  • Friday November 15 BCP Council has arranged for the Safe Bus to be in The Triangle in Bournemouth, from 10am -2pm, along with its volunteers, street pastors and Addaction talking about how the bus supports residents during nights out in the town centre.

Families of Alcoholics expert Jo Huey, who works in Dorset, said: “It brings me a lot of hope and excitement that Public Health Dorset and partners have joined together this year to raise awareness around alcohol misuse, how it impacts on friends and family as well as society.

"When people are better informed and supported, we all benefit.

"Families need to know they aren’t alone and society need to understand that just because alcohol is legal, it doesn’t change the impact it has on lives."