Agencies across Cambridgeshire have joined forces to raise awareness of the risks of excessive drinking and to promote the help and support available.
Cambridgeshire’s Safer Communities Partnership Team is working with Cambridgeshire Police, hospitals, prisons and treatment services to raise awareness during national Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from November 18 – 22.
‘Conversations about Alcohol’ is Alcohol Concern’s theme for this year’s campaign, which encourages people to think about the health risks, social problems, and how alcohol is everywhere in society.
Events taking place across Cambridgeshire include:
• A debate in the Council Chamber at Shire Hall in Cambridge on A Conversation about Alcohol from 12.30 – 1.30pm on Tuesday, 19 November.
• A poster campaign across GP surgeries, hospitals, libraries and police stations with the theme: Time to reflect – what is your relationship with alcohol. Over 600 posters have been distributed.
• The importance of Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) in tackling alcohol misuse is being promoted.
• East Anglian Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Cambridgeshire Constabulary will be highlighting the key events during Alcohol Awareness Week.
• The START programme will be promoted – the criminal justice team for Inclusion Cambridgeshire opened its doors to provide a service for alcohol as well as drug users following detention in custody and prison in October.
• 15,000 user-friendly scratch cards are being handed out across Cambridgeshire so people can check on their alcohol usage levels.
• Recovery awards to congratulate those in treatment who have made a real achievement in their own recovery, or those who have supported an individual in their recovery journey, are taking place in Cambridge.
• Addaction (the main alcohol treatment provider across Cambridgeshire) at its sites in Cambridge, St Neots and Wisbech will have open house events, coffee mornings as well as a variety of events within their buildings and at other locations across the county.
• CASUS (Cambridgeshire Child and Adolescent Substance Misuse Service) will be offering display packs and awareness/information sessions to young people projects, housing projects and schools and colleges across Cambridgeshire.
• Inclusion (the main drug and alcohol treatment provider in HMP Littlehey and Whitemoor) will be offering a range of events to help prisoners with alcohol problems.
Cllr Tony Orgee, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Beyond the obvious health related risks, excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking can have huge social and personal implications. Irresponsible alcohol consumption or binge drinking can alter how people act and can be a significant factor influencing involvement in alcohol related crime and disorder.”
Det Ch Insp Neil Sloan from Cambridgeshire Constabulary added: “Cambridge has a vibrant, diverse and healthy city centre and associated night time economy. It is vital that people using the city centre avoid binge drinking and therefore act and drink responsibly so to ensure the city centre remains a safe and enjoyable place for people to work and visit.”
Addaction is the local adult alcohol treatment and support service and can be contacted on:
St Neots: 01480 406823
Wisbech: 01945 469035
CASUS is the local service for under-18s, or concerned parents of under-18s and can be contacted on 01223-214614 or 01480-415278 or at http://www.casus.cpft.nhs.uk