1 in 3 Irish people want to drink less but struggle to do so

1 in 3 Irish people want to drink less but struggle to do so

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The latest Drinkaware research, carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes, identifies a clear need for more practical support and information in relation to alcohol and health. The survey found that the more people know about the impact drinking to excess can have on health and wellbeing, the more likely they are to proactively make positive changes to their drinking habits. Drinkaware is launching a new Standard Drink Measure Cup to help people to better understand alcohol.

The results point to a lack of understanding of the devastating effects of regular alcohol misuse, with 46% of people believing excessive drinking is ‘no big deal’. The recent Drug and Alcohol Review revealed that Ireland has the highest rate of pre-drinking out of 25 countries, with 85% of people saying they drink alcohol before going out to a licensed premises where more alcohol is then consumed.

Speaking about recent findings, Drinkaware Chief Medical Officer, Dr Liam Twomey said:

“As a GP, I see first-hand how excessive or binge drinking can affect a community and our latest research indicates that people will change their behaviour in relation to alcohol if they receive practical information about the effects. We know that drinking habits have changed over recent years and more people are drinking at home. People are often not aware of how much they are drinking, regardless of the setting. A tool like our new Standard Drink Measure Cup will help people in these situations to know and accurately keep track of exactly what they are drinking. There is a clear disconnect between what people intend to do and want to do, and what they end up doing and this is something we need to urgently address. We need to remove the barriers to people understanding the effects their drinking habits may be having on their health. Making small changes to how we consume alcohol can make a real difference in the short and long-term.”

According to the HSE, around 900 cancers diagnosed in Ireland every year are caused by alcohol and the Health Research Board state that alcohol is linked to three deaths every day in Ireland. Drinkaware actively encourages people to stay within the HSE low-risk guidelines for alcohol consumption to protect themselves from harms to health and wellbeing.

Drinkaware will be in attendance at the Primary Care Partnership Conference taking place in Croke Park this weekend, 31 March to 1 April 2017, providing information about alcohol and a range of alcohol education resources, including the new Standard Drink Measure Cup, to help people make healthier lifestyle choices around alcohol consumption.