THE August Bank Holiday is a great time to get together with friends and family especially if the weather is good and music or festivals beckon. The Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding people to watch their alcohol intake while relaxing and enjoying the long weekend.
Owen O’Neill, PHA Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager and Drugs and Alcohol Lead, said: “As the bank holiday weekend approaches and many people get a break from daily routine, it is important to be smart about alcohol. If you choose to drink, drink sensibly and make sure that your drinking does not spoil the holiday for yourself or others.
“Binge-drinking, over a long weekend for example, can put your health at risk and longer term binge drinking can cause damage to your liver, heart, brain and stomach. Therefore, the PHA suggests that whether you are at music festivals, events or just relaxing at home, taking personal responsibility for your drinking and setting a smart limit, are good ideas to prevent excessive drinking.”
The message is clear – if you decide to drink, remember to enjoy alcohol sensibly. People should follow the recommended daily alcohol limits and these simple tips:
· alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink, for example water or a soft drink;
· have something to eat before you start drinking to slow down the absorption of alcohol;
· avoid drinking in rounds or having a kitty as this may make you drink more;
· keep track of your drinks and don’t let anyone top up your drink until it’s finished.
For further information on sensible drinking and alcohol units visit the Public Health Agency’s website, www.knowyourlimits.info
Information on local support services, the Drug and Alcohol directories of services, can be found in the Publication section of the PHA website, www.publichealthagency.org