The Twelfth: ‘Let off steam, but keep an eye on alcohol intake’ says PHA
The Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging anyone who plans to drink over the Twelfth celebration period to set a sensible alcohol limit and stick to it.
The Agency says that despite this year’s Twelfth not being the same as other years, nothing has changed when it comes to alcohol.
The main message is to keep an eye on your alcohol intake by making a plan of setting a sensible limit and sticking to it.
Davis Turkington, senior health and wellbeing improvement officer with the PHA, said: “Many will be making plans to celebrate the Twelfth and we are encouraging them to keep an eye on their alcohol intake should they choose to drink.
“We understand that it has been a long 16 months dealing with lockdowns, restrictions and last year’s activities cancelled and people will want to let off some steam, but by setting a plan with your alcohol, you can avoid binge drinking which has been shown to have adverse effects on our health and safety.
“It’s recommended that men and women drink no more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.
“If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three or more days – you shouldn’t ‘save up’ your units for a particular day or a party.
“14 units are about the same as five pints of five per cent strength beer, so you can see how the units can add up and you can quickly reach your limit.
“Binge drinking can have a major impact on health such as causing damage to the liver, heart, brain and stomach. Over-indulging in alcohol can also affect relationships and spoil the holiday for you, your family and friends.
“With many official celebrations curtailed with government restrictions this year, people may be more likely to be drinking around the house. Seeing adults drinking and drunk can be frightening for young children. Make sure there is at least one non-drinking adult in the house at all times and if you are drinking, try to leave it late until the kids have gone to bed.
“Remember, you don’t need alcohol to have a good time, but if you do decide to drink, know your limits.
“Drinking too much can also make you forget that we all need to be sure to maintain social distancing.”
The PHA has reinded everyone of the following advice:
“We should aim to stay two metres apart, where possible. Social distancing is essential to prevent further spread of the virus. You should avoid visiting places whenever there is a chance that large numbers of people will converge and crowds will form.
“Alongside this we mustn’t forget the importance of good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering where required, and when indoors keeping rooms well ventilated.”
If you do decide to drink alcohol over the over the Twelfth holiday, try to follow these simple tips:
· Always look after yourself and know what your limits are.
· Have something to eat before you start drinking to slow down the absorption of alcohol.
· Alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink; for example water or a soft drink.
· Take frequent five-minute breaks from drinking to give your body time to recover.
· Don’t let anyone pressure you in to drinking more than you want to.
· Keep track of your drinks and don’t let anyone top up your drink until it’s finished.
· If a friend does drink too much, don’t leave them alone or let them wander off, encourage them to re-hydrate with non-alcoholic drinks.
· If you think you might have a problem with alcohol and/ or drugs and would like to get help please visit http://services.drugsandalcoholni.info for information on support services near you.
· There is also a range of services available to you if you are affected by someone else’s drinking and/or drug misuse, information on these services are also available on this website. These services are available to you regardless of whether or not your loved one is receiving help for his or her alcohol and/ or drug problem.