Swanswell renews education calls as thousands continue to lose their lives because of alcohol

19 February 2014

Swanswell’s renewing calls for better education and clearer information around alcohol use, as thousands of people continue to lose their lives because of problem drinking.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reports 381 fewer alcohol-related deaths in 2012, compared to 2011.

However, 8,367 people still lost their lives because of alcohol misuse in 2012, with almost two thirds (63%) of all related deaths caused by alcoholic liver disease – a range of conditions and associated symptoms linked to severe liver damage caused by alcohol misuse.

People are at risk of alcoholic liver disease if they regularly or intermittently drink to excess (NHS Choices). It can take a number of years to develop and sufferers may not experience any symptoms until the liver has been severely damaged, leading to serious illness.         

Swanswell believes better education and clearer information around the harms of problem alcohol use will help future generations make informed decisions about alcohol use, and avoid damaging drinking behaviour.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘While we welcome any fall in alcohol-related deaths, there are still thousands of people who are needlessly losing their lives because of an entirely preventable cause.

The problem is that alcohol has become so integrated into everyday life that it’s difficult for someone to know when drinking is becoming a problem. There are also so many mixed messages around alcohol, which add to the confusion.

We need to cut through the misinformation, so that people have the facts in an understandable way to enable them to make informed decisions about their relationship with alcohol – better education and clearer information are key to achieving this.

There also needs to be more investment in services like Swanswell to give people the support they need if their alcohol use has become a problem, so we’re not continuing to see people losing their lives because of their drinking.’







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