Alcohol concern with the help of a £500,000 grant from Public Health England have launched a campaign challenging people to go alcohol-free for the month of January (dryjanuary.org.uk). This will tie in with some of the most popular New Year resolutions which often feature pledges to get fit, lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle. Some people have questioned whether such a relatively short period of abstinence can bring any long-term benefit but according to Emily Robinson, the director of campaigns for Alcohol Concern, it can. She has said that, “many of us think that the way we drink isn’t a problem, but even having a few beers after work or a couple of glasses of wine at home too often can take you over safe limits and store up problems for the future.”
There has to be some long term strategy concerning alcohol consumption in this country according to all of the medical experts who deal with its effects on a daily basis. That might be the nurse in the accident and emergency department who is being abused by a drunk while she is going about her important work, or the paramedics unable to take their passenger from the ambulance because the A & E department is full with the aftermath of Saturday night drinking. It will include the specialists treating the huge increase in liver disease, now affecting over 15,000 people in the UK and costing half a billion pounds a year and predicted to double in the next 10 years.
At The Providence Project we see the problem in individual terms. We see the husbands, wives, parents and children of alcoholics who are suffering through a disease that they cannot control. We have heard countless alcoholics tell us that they want to stop because they know what their drinking is doing to them and their family, but they cannot do it; sometimes that involves daily drinking and sometimes irregular and uncontrolled binges. We wholeheartedly support the aims of Dry January and wish complete success to everyone who signs up to take part in it but we are conscious of the many thousands who will suffer throughout the month as they, and their families, have been suffering for many previous months and years.
Public health policy is a matter for government and health professionals and we are aware that whatever we feel about that policy we have a minimal input into its formulation. What The Providence Project can do is to carry on successfully treating alcoholics as it has done for over seventeen years and a telephone call to one of our fully-qualified treatment professionals is the first step that you can take to deal with the problem.
We have a consultant available 24 hours a day on our helpline to discuss, in confidence and free of charge, for any problems you or a family member may have in relation to the potential need for alcohol rehab.