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Dry January is over, but think about alcohol​

Even though Dry January is Dry January is over, we're asking the people of Lewisham to carry on reflecting about how much alcohol they drink.

Dr Charles Gostling, Senior Clinical Director for NHS Lewisham CCG said: "The occasional drink with friends can be a pleasure and we have no wish to lecture.

"But it's important to be aware that drinking more than the recommended limit can have a negative health consequences – physically and mentally."

Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. The number of units in a drink is based on the size of the drink, as well as its alcohol strength.

For example, a pint of strong lager contains three units of alcohol, whereas the same volume of low-strength lager has just over two units.

Dr Gostling said: "Many people don't realise that persistent alcohol misuse increases the chances of developing an array of diseases – including cancers – affecting every organ of the body."

He added: "The psychological effect can also be damaging. Many people rely on alcohol when they face stress, anxiety and depression, without realising that too much alcohol can actually make those conditions worse, leaving you less able to cope."

Dr Gostling said: "All we're asking is for the people of Lewisham to think about their drinking. And if you believe you might be drinking too much, it's a good idea to think and see what adjustments can be made."

If you worry you may be drinking too much, support, guidance and help is available. The NHS can even offer help on calculating the number of units that you drink.

Pregnancy

The Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) guidance is that:

If you are pregnant or think you could become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk.

Further support and advice

The NHS has more wide-ranging online advice about alcohol at www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/

Alcohol Change UK – the charity behind Dr January has a website that contains useful information,   help, support and advice at www.alcoholchange.org.uk/about-us

Council website which gives further advice and local services that can help? https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/socialcare/health/drugs-and-alcohol

Lewisham Council's website also contains information and offers further advice about local services that can help. https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/socialcare/health/drugs-and-alcohol