Alcohol Concern sponsors an annual Alcohol Awareness Week every year as part of its efforts to educate and prevent alcohol abuse and dependence. This year’s (2014) observance runs from November 17 through 23, and will feature an important conference that the charity has entitled ‘Facing our Alcohol Problem- Taking Back our Health and High Streets’.
The conference will feature a number of MPs, including minister of state for crime prevention Lynne Featherstone and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham. The two will discuss the impact of alcohol abuse on the public health as well as violent crime. Featherstone will focus on local initiatives intended to handle alcohol abuse while Burnham will discuss steps a Labour government could take to address the ongoing problem.
In a broader sense, Alcohol Concern is using the conference as a platform to present the issue of alcohol abuse as a national problem rather than just something dealt with on an individual level. They are encouraging those interested in being part of the discussion to sign up for the conference. It is scheduled for November 19 at London Bridge, from 09.30 to 16.30.
Dry January Follow-Up
Alcohol Awareness Week comes just in time for the start of the busy holiday season. Events scheduled throughout the week, including the conference, should cause people to remember to control their drinking during holiday celebrations. Moreover, for those who get a bit out of control, Alcohol Concern sponsors a follow-up event known as Dry January.
The Dry January challenge is a programme designed to support people who want to make change by taking the entire month off from drinking after the holidays. It also raises money to help fund the charity’s programmes. During the month of January, participants can ask family members and friends to sponsor them to go the entire month without drinking. Opportunities exist for local municipalities and businesses to get involved through sponsorships.
Changing the Conversation
So why does Alcohol Concern do what it does? It is trying to change the national conversation about alcohol. The current conversation tends to be dominated by extremes, with all sides competing with one another to be the loudest voice. The charity aims to change that in a way that encourages stakeholders to look at the problem of alcohol abuse practically and pragmatically.
For example, information on the Alcohol Concern website addresses alcohol users in a way very few other organisations do. It talks about alcohol use and how it relates to things such as weight gain, insufficient sleep, and family budgeting. These are topics that cause people to step back and look at their alcohol consumption as a practical issue.
At the government level, Alcohol Concern wants policy makers to look at the issue from all angles, rather than just concentrating on the debates over laws, enforcement, and addiction treatment. It wants leaders to step back and truly examine how far-reaching the effects of alcohol abuse really are.
Any programme or strategy that causes people to step back and really consider the manifestations of alcohol and drug use is one that should be explored further. As with so many other issues, the vast majority of us barely scratch the surface until drug and alcohol abuse impact us directly. How much better would we be in combating problems if we did not wait so long?
What about you? If you are using drugs or drinking more than a few units of alcohol per week, you may already be on the road to trouble. Addiction Helper can come alongside to help you find appropriate treatment. All you need do is contact us.
Stay informed about all addiction discussion topics, because they will show you the current state of the war against drugs and other addictions.