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Alcohol - the low down:

  • Did you know that alcohol is causal in more than 60 medical conditions? These include cancer of the mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast. High blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and depression.
  • 24% of adults in England and Scotland regularly drink more than is recommended in the guidelines.
  • 27% of drinkers binge drink- that is consuming more than 8 units in a session for men and 6 units for women.
  • In England there are an estimated 589,101 dependent drinkers.
  • In 2016 there were 9,214 alcohol-related deaths in the UK. Mortality is highest in the 55-69 years group.
  • There is a downward trend in alcohol intake since 2005, this is more pronounced in younger drinkers.

Drugs - the low down according to Home Office stats for 2018/2019:

  • Around 1 in 11 adults (9.4%) aged 16-59 had taken drugs in the year. This equates t0 3.2million people
  • Around 1 in 5 (20.3%) adults aged 16-24 had taken a drug in the last year (1.3 million people)
  • Around one third (34.2%) of adults aged 16-59 had taken drugs at some point during their lifetime.

Why do people take drugs?

  • For enjoyment - people like the feelings of excitement, confidence and connection with others.
  • The environment - in regions of high unemployment and poor housing drug supply thrives as an alternative economy.
  • Curiosity & Experimentation - many people are naturally curious and want to experiment with different experiences.
  • Defence mechanisms - some people use drugs to help them forget about their problems, including traumatic experiences.
  • Natural rebellion - young people sometimes take drugs as part of natural rebellion.
  • Availability - drugs are everywhere, they are available through the dark web and can be delivered by post. They can be a cheap way of getting high.
  • Peer pressure - being around others who use drugs can make people feel like they have to follow suit to fit in, similar to having a drink in the pub where everyone else is drinking.

What are the dangers from using drugs?

The dangers from drug use depends on 3 factors: the drug, the set and the setting. The danger arises as a result of interactions of these three elements.

  1. The drug: this relates to anything connected to the drug and how it is used. Different drugs have different dangers, some drugs have a sedative effect (alcohol, heroin and tranquilisers), these can affect coordination with increased risk of accidents. Other drugs have a stimulant effect (amphetamines, cocaine, crack and ecstasy) while others have a hallucinogenic effect (LSD, magic mushrooms and to a lesser extent cannabis and ecstasy).
  2. The set: this relates to the person who is using the drug. In young people ignorance and lack of experience in itself can be dangerous, they will experiment and are likely to be unsure what to do or expect.
  3. The setting: this includes what the individual is doing at the time, where they are and the environment they live in.
  Drugs Awarenwess  

Are you planning to promote alcohol awareness days for your employees?



Here are details of two events, Dry January & Sober Spring and a range of helpful resources:

Dry January

  • Download the free App

Sober Spring


Alcohol - Tips for cutting down


Alcohol - Are you drinking too much?


Alcohol & Mental Health


Alcohol Change - Fact Sheets


Alcohol Change - Interactive Tools


Drink Aware - Resources


Cancer Research - Alcohol & Cancer


Infographic - Why people take drugs


Poster - What are the dangers of drugs?


Childline - Information & Advice


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