This week is Alcohol Awareness Week – a time for self-reflection?November 19 2018
From the 19th to 25th November the charity, Alcohol Concern, launch their Alcohol Awareness Week. This week gives them a chance to get people to open up about alcohol consumption and signpost support to those who may need help with alcohol addiction.
Alcohol has always been a huge part of British culture. With every celebration, birth and death we toast with our favourite tipple. The joy of finishing work on a Friday evening is complimented with a pint down your local pub and your Saturday is for really painting the town red.
But for some people alcohol isn’t just a weekend of fun, its life. Drinking day in, day out becomes normality; it becomes the only reason to get up in the morning. For some people it is primarily just functioning. In England, there are an estimated 595,131 dependent drinkers and alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK.
At the age of 49, two days before his 50thbirthday by dad suddenly collapsed and died. My dad was an alcoholic; alcohol was his medicine to self-treat his depression and escape the past demons and bad memories in his life. It wasn’t the alcohol that sadly took away his life, but pneumonia. He shrugged off his symptoms as a petty cold which would shift in a few days; but his body ruined from years of alcohol abuse couldn’t withstand this infection. When I was younger I used to be embarrassed to say my Dad was Alcohol Dependent, that’s because I didn’t understand addiction of any kind. I was angry and was naive and thought that an addiction was easy to kick; that if somebody wanted to quit something, it would be as easy as catching a bus. The older I have become and the more society has raised awareness on addiction it has helped me overcome my own guilt for not understanding and offering the right support to my Dad.
In October the CWU held an Education Event for their Young Workers in Peterborough. During this education event the charity Open Road hosted a workshop on Young People and Addiction. With this being close to my heart I jumped at the chance to attend and learn more on the subject. Open Road is a registered charity that focuses on supporting individuals through addiction. They understand the condition and do not judge the people they meet; but instead empower individuals, families and communities in their journey of recovery. Open Road has over 110 employees and 280 volunteers. 56% of these volunteers are currently in recovery and most of these go forward to being fully paid employees for the charity. The volunteers at Open Road share their positive recovery stories and to give back to addicts coming through their transition to sobriety. Its charities like Open Road that can help save somebody’s life just by offering support to that person in need. Alcohol addiction not only affect’s the sufferer but also their friends and family. Open Road works with families to help rebuild the relationships and to support them in becoming clean. Open Road is an amazing charity that delivers talks to people in the workplace. They also give back to the community by offering SOS buses on a weekend in city center’s to help reduce A&E admissions from the drunk and disorderly. This year’s alcohol awareness campaign is centered on Change. Alcohol Concern wants to change people’s mindset towards drinking. They want to encourage people to drink more healthily and make a positive change in their drinking habits. Why not get involved in Alcohol Awareness Week, or better still, prepare yourself for a dry January in aid of their charity?
For more information on Alcohol Awareness visit, www.alcoholconcern.org.uk.
Visit openroad.org.uk for more stories on how the charity has saved people’s lives.