Dry January Shines A Spotlight On The Need For Better Alcohol Awareness

Millions of people are currently in the middle of their Dry January challenge – an event that has now become a firm fixture on the national calendar, as headlines this month demonstrate: ‘“I decided to stay sober forever”: How Dry January is changing binge Britain’.

Yet despite this increasing trend towards a more sober lifestyle and culture, we know that alcohol related deaths reached an all-time high in 20212. Over 9,600 people died as a result of alcohol use – a rise of 7.4% since 2020. Government data also reveals that about 800,000 hospital admissions between 2020-21 were due in some measure to alcohol use.

The statistics present a conflicting picture. One in five 16-24-year-olds in Britain today chooses to abstain from alcohol. Yet a recent survey of 3,000 employees by the UK Addiction Treatment Group tells us that one in five respondents say they have felt obliged to consume alcohol at work events. The poll suggests that this could mean some seven million British workers are regularly drinking, despite not wanting to; one third of 25-30-year-olds surveyed admitted to drinking alcohol due to peer pressure at work, compared to just one in ten 50-59-year-olds.

With such mixed messages prevalent around the use of alcohol, the need for better education, especially from a younger age, is clear. Hope UK’s evidence-based drug education is in ever-greater demand by schools, now required to teach pupils about alcohol and drugs as part of the national curriculum.

Hope UK trains volunteers to deliver its drug education sessions within their own communities across the UK – to schools, church-based youth groups and other youth organisations. The charity also offers accredited training to professionals such as youth workers and teachers, to enable them to deliver effective drug education in their local settings. Alongside in-person sessions, their online training and free e-learning modules can support professionals, parents and children.

For more information about how Hope UK can help your organisation in 2023 visit: https://resources.hopeuk.org

Written by: Mary Deller

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