Youngsters, their parents, and students, are the targets of Alcohol Awareness Week in Renfrewshire.
The aim is to raise awareness and reduce alcohol abuse which puts the area fourth in the UK league table for the highest deaths amongst males.
For female deaths Renfrewshire is the 11th worst area in the UK, however drinking statistics for youngsters are falling.
A key aim of the week is to encourage people to think about how much alcohol they consume by explaining what a unit of alcohol is.
Staff from the Alcohol Problems Clinic in Paisley will be at Reid Kerr College on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.
As well as raising awareness and understanding of alcohol units, they will also be running quizzes testing students’ knowledge of drink, including how long it takes a liver to process one unit of alcohol, what happens if someone misuses alcohol over a long period of time, and what is the government’s daily sensible drinking guideline.
Clinic staff are also visiting Ferguslie Sports centre, run by The Ferguslie Park Sports, Recreation & Leisure Trust which is a Scottish Registered Charity, and Dykebar Hospital.
Stevie Lydon, Strategy Co-ordinator, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Alcohol Action Team said
“We want people to enjoy themselves and be safe but to be aware of their level of drinking.”
Peter MacLeod, chairperson of the Addictions Joint Planning and Implementation Group in Renfrewshire, added:
“People have to know that the guidelines are for safe drinking and they have to recognise the damage drinking can do.
“Action is needed to tackle the increase in liver disease and that includes everyone becoming aware of what they are drinking.”
Ferguslie Workers Network, working in partnership with Strathclyde Police, are taking the anti-social behaviour bus to target hard to reach young people and their parents, to local schools, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and to a site on Wednesday evening.
The bus is jointly operated by the police and Renfrewshire Council, and a Strathclyde police spokesperson said:
"Whilst the Police will always deal with the criminal aspects of alcohol abuse, we also work in partnership to help those who abuse alcohol through, for example, referral to the Young Persons Advisory Project.
“The work being carried out during Alcohol Awareness Week is another example of this Partnership work and we are delighted to be involved."
Local MSP Bill Wilson expressed his support for the “week”, he said:
"I wholeheartedly offer my support for Alcohol Awareness Week, in fact I will be attending a number of seminars during the week related to the subject.
“The purpose of this week is to do exactly that by ensuring that the government, health professionals, the voluntary sector and the alcohol industry tackle the issues that can result from alcohol misuse, together.
"The dangers of alcohol misuse, not only for the individual but also society as a whole, should be fully explained to everyone.
"This misuse costs Scotland over £1 billion every year, whether it be through the admissions to hospital, crime related incidents or other economic factors.
"The health risks for the individual have been well documented but there are other costs. Examples are numerous, more than 50% of fire deaths are alcohol related, 10% of accident and emergency admissions are attributed to alcohol.
"It is estimated that 40% of men and 25% of women in Scotland exceed their recommended daily alcohol limits. This shows how much Alcohol Awareness Week is needed and I hope that the information being provided reaches as many people as possible."
In Renfrewshire between 2005-06, there were 1296 general acute alcohol-related hospital admissions, a reduction of 318 on the previous year; the figures for the same years for alcohol-related emergency admissions were 1212 and 1410 respectively.
Notes to Editors:
The percentage of 15-year-olds who had ever had an alcoholic drink and been drunk was 70 per cent in 2006
The number of 15-year-olds who had five or more drinks on the same occasion in the last 30 days was 55 per cent in 2006.”
The recommended sensible drinking guidelines are that men should drink no more than 3-4 units per day, and women no more than 2-3.
If you do over do it, it’s a good idea to give your body two days without a drink. In fact Scottish Government advice is that we should all aim to have two alcohol free days each week.
Anyone who is concerned about their drinking should speak to their GP or the RCA Trust, Mirren House, Back Sneddon Street, on 0141 887 0880, or Drinkline free, at any time on 0800 7314314.
For more information about Alcohol Awareness Week, visit www.alcoholawarenessweek.com.
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.