Herefordshire College of Technology students took part in a series of simple challenges as part of a session held at the College to promote alcohol awareness and safer drinking as part of an ongoing county-wide campaign.
The impact of alcohol is a growing problem nationally and, last year, alcohol-related hospital admissions cost Herefordshire £5.5m. Alcohol is now the sixth largest cause of hospital admissions in the county.
“Increasingly and nationally it is young people in their 20s and 30s who are suffering from advanced alcohol liver disease, a condition which was traditionally associated with middle aged and older men. We are also seeing a large increase in the number of women being admitted – up by 11 per cent in the last year”, says Michelle Clark, Director of Nursing & Transformation at Wye Valley NHS Trust.
Richard Gabb, Herefordshire Council’s Assistant Director for Homes & Community Services, added: “Drinking alcohol can affect an individual’s decision making, health and physical appearance, so it’s important to provide young people with enough information so they can make informed choices. Despite being illegal under 18s are choosing to drink alcohol, so it’s imperative that they understand the law and the potential consequences.”
The event was to help raise awareness of inappropriate attendances at The County Hospital’s A & E Department. Organised by Wye Valley NHS Trust and Herefordshire Community Safety Partnership based at Herefordshire Council, the session saw students take part in a beer goggles exercise and hear first hand from an Accident and Emergency (A & E) nurse about some of the challenges local NHS services face during a weekend as a result of alcohol related admissions.
HCT student, Daniel Derrick, said. “Wearing the beer goggles made me feel confused and unsteady on my feet and it really made me think about how vulnerable alcohol makes you”.
Tips for safer drinking
- Making sure you eat before you drink as this slows down the rate that alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream
- Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated. All licensed premises are obliged to serve you tap water and it’s free
- If you are planning to go out and drink, make sure that you have ordered a cab, or arranged for someone to pick you up. Don’t drink and drive, you put yourself and other road users at risk. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive - and there is no foolproof way of drinking and staying under the limit
- Keep track of what and how much you are drinking
- Look after friends when you are out and about