Many people enjoy drinking alcohol in moderation as part of their lifestyle, but drinking excessively or 'binge drinking' can have a harmful effect on our health and wellbeing, as well as others around us. Often, the amount we drink can creep up on us and before you know it you are drinking far more than you intended.
The risks of drinking alcohol in excess are well established; alcohol is associated with more than 200 types of chronic disease, accidents and injuries. Misusing alcohol is a major preventable cause of premature mortality, and is associated with 1 in 20 deaths.
In England and Wales, provisional data shows that in 2020 there were 7,423 alcohol-specific deaths (around 13 per 100,000 people). This is a 19.6% increase in deaths from 2019.
Consumption of alcohol above the recommended guidelines is least common among adults living in the most deprived areas, and consumption rises as deprivation levels decrease. However, the harm from alcohol consumption in terms of hospital admissions and mortality is greatest within the most deprived areas (this is called the ‘alcohol harm paradox’).
High levels of alcohol consumption within the night-time economy in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan contribute towards alcohol-related violence and crime, attendances at the Emergency Unit at the University Hospital Wales, and the Alcohol Treatment Centre in Cardiff city centre
Cardiff Community Alcohol Partnership
Community Alcohol Partnerships are made up of partnerships between organisations such as universities, local authorities, police and health providers working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people, and improve the quality of life for residents. Cardiff Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) focusses on the 18-25 year age group to reduce alcohol harm and promote a safe and enjoyable nightlife.
The Alcohol Group was established to improve the population’s relationship with alcohol and reduce the negative effects of consumption in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. It is a sub-group of the Cardiff and Vale Area Planning Board.
Drinking alcohol in moderation can be enjoyable, but drinking excessively or ‘binge drinking’ can have a harmful effect on our health and wellbeing. Sometimes, we don’t effectively keep track of how much we are drinking, and drink more than we intend.
Research has shown that 1 in 5 of us are drinking more during the COVID-19 pandemic. This might include starting drinking earlier in the day, drinking on days when you wouldn’t usually, and drinking more in a session. For more information on reducing the risks from drinking alcohol visit Keeping Me Well.
Lauren Idowu, Principal Health Promotion Specialist: Tel 02921 836505.