By Kim O'Leary
With St. Patrick's Day and a bank holiday just around the corner this weekend there's much for the Irish people to celebrate, but Drinkaware is reminding people to be mindful of their drinking during the festivities.
Ahead of St Patrick’s Day and this weekend’s bank holiday Drinkaware are encouraging everyone to access the tools available on their website www.drinkaware.ie which are widely used and supported by frontline healthcare and education professionals to make people aware of the risks they face through frequent binge drinking.
Drinkaware work to educate people with the facts about alcohol and they want to support people to make practical, positive changes to their drinking habits and to see health benefits as a result.
According to research carried out by Drinkaware, over 90% of Irish adults attach considerable importance to raising awareness around low-risk guidelines for weekly alcohol consumption and so far in 2018 over 25,000 people have used the Drinkaware online Drinks Calculator to monitor their intake but 70% of Irish adults believe drinking to excess is ‘just a part of Irish culture’
Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day and the March Bank Holiday weekend, Drinkaware have some simple changes people can make to reduce their alcohol consumption:
Alternate each drink with a glass of water to reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol
Always use a standard drink measure: never free-pour spirits or wine
Never top up your wine glass – always finish one glass before refilling
Downsize your drink by choosing lower alcohol beer and wine
Avoid rounds – you may end up drinking more than you intended.
Niamh Gallagher, CEO of Drinkaware, said:“While we are encouraged by many of the positive findings in our research, we know that long weekends and public holidays create more opportunities for drinking alcohol. In many cases, this can result in people drinking more than usual and above the low-risk guidelines, often without intending to. We each have our part to play in changing how we use alcohol in this country, and in creating a country where alcohol is not misused. Any kind of long-term behaviour change is difficult and it is clear that there is still work to do in this area."
She added: "We urge people to check out the simple tools available on the Drinkaware website over the long weekend. These tools provide people with important feedback on their habits as well as practical ways to reduce their intake, and we encourage people to monitor and track their alcohol use in the same way as they might monitor calories, sugar and exercise. It is clear we are becoming more aware of how excessive drinking affects our health and wellbeing and Drinkaware will continue our efforts in working with parents, communities and frontline organisations to keep up this pace of change.”
For more information and advice visit www.drinkaware.ie
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