Addiction NI, the leading local alcohol and drug treatment Charity in NI, welcomes the consistency on alcohol messaging guidelines by the 4 chief medical officers in the UK.   This is the first time there has been consistency in alcohol guidelines across The 4 nations. New Drinking Guidelines – What You Need to Know

Thelma Abernethy, Chief Executive of Addiction NI advised

We welcome agreed alcohol messaging across the UK, but along side this messaging there is a need for a major alcohol awareness camapign to help people understand alcohol. We have legalised it, normalised it and include it as part of our weekly grocery shop but yet do not realise that its the worlds most powerful drug,  which can have a negative  impact  on individuals families and communities.

The majority of people do not understand units or how to work them out. It is encouraging that the units are starting to be put on labels,  the challenge is how to help people understand its impact and start to change our relationship  with alcohol.   There is estimated to be in the region of 217, 000 people in NI drinking at harmful and hazardous levels which means they are drinking more than the recommended daily allowance.

The new Guidelines have moved from daily recommended alcohol units to weekly unit guidelines for males and females. Ie. Weekly recommended allowance is now up to 14 units per week for both male and female,  consumed across 3 or more days. It is important people realise this is only recommended maximum units and that individuals need to make informed choice as to what is good for them taking into consideration,  health,  medication,  lifestyle,  bmi and how alcohol affects them.   It is important that individuals have a minimum of 2 alcohol free days per week to allow the body to recover.

Addiction NI fully supports CMO’s recommendation that alcohol free pregnancy is the best and safest option for the unborn child and mother.

If you are concerned about your own or some one elses alcohol use, you should talk to your GP or contact Addiction NI on 02890664434 who provide confidential services throughout Northern Ireland.

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