Dr Sarah Jarvis is a member of the medical advisory panel for Drinkaware and is a GP. She contributes regularly to the BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine programme and The One Show.
Protecting children from alcohol-related harm is everyone’s responsibility. That means we all have a role to play, whether as parents, teachers or relatives, in bringing children up with a responsible attitude towards alcohol. We know from our research at Drinkaware that children will go to their parents first for information and advice on drinking. We encourage parents to talk to their children about alcohol without waiting for them to bring the subject up, having open, honest and informed discussions. We help people do this by providing information and advice on our website.
17 million sick days are taken in the UK every year due to alcohol and around 200,000 people turn up to work every day with a hangover. Globally, alcohol is the world’s number one risk factor for ill-health and premature death amongst the 25-59 year old age group, the core of the working age population.
Whilst we can talk generally about cutting back on smoking, obesity and exercise is it still a bit taboo to tackle the thorny issue of alcohol with your workforce without sounding like you’re casting judgement?
Mark, 52, from Surrey is a petrol tanker driver, working a mix of day and night shifts driving across the South of England. He lives with his girlfriend and manages to fit a busy social life around his shift work, going out most weekends with friends.
“The thought of my first skiing holiday in more than ten years was what motivated me to try the “Have a little less, feel a lot better” challenge. Though I feel pretty healthy, I want to lose weight and get fitter so I can really enjoy being up in the mountains. I knew cutting down on my drinking in the week was one way to lose a few pounds.
This blog was written by Dean, who is cutting back on his drinking as a part of our ‘Have a little less, feel a lot better campaign.’ Dean, 51, is a painter and decorator and lives with his wife, three children and their dog in Chiswick.
“When I started out on the “Have a little less, feel a lot better” challenge I had no idea how tough I’d find it to cut down on my drinking at home.
Deep down I knew I should drink less. I’m not getting any younger and once you hit your fifties you start to become a bit more health-conscious, especially when you have a family to support and a business to run.
I’ve been a Drinkaware Crew staff member at Plymouth students union for the last year and I’m going back to help them for Fresher’s in September.
If someone had said to me your job is dealing with vomit, and urine I think I’d have run a mile and whilst it’s definitely a hazard of the job I’ve really enjoyed myself.
As a crew member I’m on hand with my colleagues to make sure that students have a good time, and nothing bad happens to them. The ones to look out for are the newbies, they definitely just do too much too soon and don’t seem to realise that they need to pace themselves. Some of them tend to pre-load, having several pints of a bottle of wine before they arrive at the venue. Then you’ll see them doing shots and then several more in a quick succession. That’s when it usually goes wrong.
I’d definitely recommend the job, it’s really varied and I think Drinkaware Crew are
Zac Perry, a father of two from Sheffield, has chosen to raise money for Drinkaware in memory of his late mother, who died from alcoholism.
Zac’s mother Julie turned to drinking to cope with depression and disability, but sadly lost her battle in June 2014 and died of liver failure. Zac was by his mother’s side when she died.
After Julie died, he found it difficult to cope and started to comfort eat. He gained six stone, but after support from his partner and his children, lost the weight and decided to take part in his local Strongman competition to raise money in Julie’s memory.