BBC drama EastEnders has been working with Drinkaware on a storyline which will see one of its central characters, Linda Carter, turn to alcohol as she struggles with the mounting pressure on her family.
Drinkaware Chief Executive, Elaine Hindal, said: “Feeling pressure to drink, having a drink to celebrate or drinking to cope or relax – these are all common situations that many adults would recognise.
“The fact is the overwhelming majority of people don’t have a serious problem with alcohol. But it might surprise you to know that you don’t always have to be drinking to extreme levels to become dependent on alcohol. What’s more, regularly drinking above recommended levels can lead to a range of health conditions.
“Working with EastEnders on this storyline will help us put a spotlight on the potentially harmful result of getting into the habit of drinking regularly. Credit to the script writers who are sensitively showing the journey of how easy it can be for someone to develop risky drinking habits. Linda’s experiences with alcohol demonstrate why it’s important to be able to recognise signs that you, or someone you care about, could be developing drinking habits that could cause harm to themselves or others.”
Jon Sen, Executive Producer EastEnders added: “This autumn the Carters will face one of their biggest crises to date when Linda turns to alcohol to escape the increasing pressures of her family life. Linda’s descent into alcoholism will be instantly recognisable to many – a journey that begins with a single drink to cope with the everyday ups and downs but quickly escalates to a point which wreaks devastation on their life and the lives of those around them. In telling Linda’s story we hope that anyone in Linda’s situation or those around them notice the signs of alcoholism and seek the help needed.”
Drinkaware’s extensive research into drinking behaviours has found there are around one million women in the UK, like Linda, who drink at risky levels, most often in the home and sometimes socially. They are most likely to drink for coping or enhancement reasons.
Drinkaware has a broad range of advice and information for anyone who is worried about their own drinking, or about someone else’s drinking. As well as a variety of support pages on its website, Drinkaware’s DrinkChat allows anyone to chat confidentially and anonymously online about alcohol with trained professional advisors.