20/12/2001

Don’t let the spirit spoil the festive fun

The Health Promotion Agency has issued a warning to Christmas and New Year revellers concerning the use of alcohol.

Research carried out by the Agency revealed that 7 out of 10 adults in Northern Ireland drink alcohol and that binge drinking is a significant part of the alcohol culture in the province.

With this in mind the Health Promotion Agency has produced a leaflet, ‘Focus on alcohol: A guide to drinking and health’. This is for everyone who wants to have a drink to be aware of the safe drinking message without being a killjoy.

Rob Phipps, Senior Health Promotion Manager for the Health Promotion Agency said: "Many of us do most of our drinking in a few sessions - usually on a Friday or Saturday night. This pattern of binge drinking over a number of years can have long-term effects on our health, such as, damage to the liver, heart, brain and especially with spirits, the stomach.

"It can also increase the risk of some cancers, such as liver and stomach cancer, and binge drinking among young men can increase the risk of strokes. There can be social costs such as fights, disturbances, accidents and additional workload for the A&E departments of hospitals.

Almost 200,000 leaflets will be available throughout Northern Ireland from health boards and trusts as well as pharmacies, GP surgeries and a number of voluntary organisations. (MB)

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