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NEW CARD URGES DRINKERS TO THINK AGAIN

November 19, 2004 10:51 AM

PEOPLE arrested in Glasgow city centre where alcohol has played a part in their arrest, will be handed a new pocket-sized information card which aims to make them think about the consequences of drinking too much.

Handed to them as they leave police custody, the alcohol custody card contains a range of information about:
* Safe levels of alcohol for men and women;
* The number of units in common drinks;
* How alcohol can affect behaviour;
* Safer drinking information; and
* Where to go to get help if you are concerned about your own or someone else's drinking habits.

It will be given out by police officers at Glasgow City Centre Police Office to anyone arrested in the city centre for alcohol-related behaviour.

Created by NHS Greater Glasgow in partnership with Strathclyde Police, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Council on Alcohol (as a sub group of the multi-disciplinary Glasgow City Centre Alcohol Action Group), the new card is officially launched tomorrow on Friday, November 19, 2004. Posters will also be displayed in the police office.

Nikki Boyle, Health Promotion Officer with NHS Greater Glasgow, said: "Last year, 9,500 arrests came through Glasgow City Centre Police Office and around 6,000 of those (about 63%) were alcohol-related. That's a huge number of people, many of whom might not have gotten into trouble in the first place had they not been under the influence of drink.

"Through the development of this new card, we hope to encourage drinkers who've gone that step too far and landed in trouble, to think about what happened and how they can prevent it from happening again."

Nikki revealed that many drinkers are unaware of the alcohol content of some drinks, believing they are drinking in a less harmful way than they actually are.

She said: "A lot of people are still under the misapprehension that they are drinking within safe limits because they think the number of units of alcohol in a drink is less than it actually is.

"Many also believe that if they don't drink alcohol all week, it's okay to drink lots at the weekend at the one time. They then binge drink and that's when the trouble can start.

"Apart from the obvious health consequences of this, drinking too much alcohol can cause a person to act in a way they wouldn't normally leading to all sorts of problems including violence and breaches of the peace."

Superintendent Michael Mullan from Glasgow City Centre Police Office said: "The misuse of alcohol undoubtedly plays a significant role in incidents of disorder and criminal activity within Glasgow City Centre, particularly at week-ends.  We fully support NHS Greater Glasgow, Glasgow Council on Alcohol and Glasgow City Council in this initiative."

 
ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:
A copy of the images for the custody card scheme is available in PDF format for print purposes. Contact Dawn Nelson on 0141 201 4429.

The alcohol custody card scheme is different from the Arrest Referral Scheme launched at the beginning of October.  The latter is a service offered to anyone arrested for alcohol/drug-related offence who is taken to Glasgow East End Police Office. There they are offered direct access to addiction services.

There are a number of agencies who offer help to people with alcohol related problems. These include:
* Community Addiction Teams - 0141 276 6600;
* Glasgow Council on Alcohol - 0141 226 3883;
* Alcoholics Anonymous - 0845 769 7555;
* National Alcohol Helpline - 0800 917 8282.
For further information, contact:
Press office Tel:  0141 201 4429

www.nhsgg.org.uk

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