And Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership is keen for everyone to reflect on their own drinking and that of close friends and family to make sure they are not relying on alcohol more than they should be. Five top tips for healthier drinking are also being promoted:
n Drink and think in units: it’s safest not to drink more than 14 units per week; that’s about six pints of normal strength beer or six standard glasses of wine.
n Keep a drinking diary. Recording what you drink for a few weeks will help you understand your drinking pattern, so you can decide if you want to make a change. Download the free Try Dry app to help you keep track. https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/interactive-tools/the-dry-january-app-1
n Have a few days off every week. It’s a good way to cut down and give your body a rest. Consider taking an extended break like having a Dry January or other dry month.
n Try alcohol-free alternatives. Alcohol-free beers, ciders and wines are now widely available and more and more of them are winning awards in place of their full-strength competitors.
n Ask for help if you need it. Talk to your GP or visit twww.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/alcohol
Other groups offering support locally are the NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service, for over 18s who have a dependency or complex problems related to alcohol or drug use. They can be reached on 01387 244555.
In addition, We Are With You provides support to anyone over the age of 18 with drug and/or alcohol addiction issues and acn be contacted on 01387 263208, as well as ISSU18 for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are affected by problematic substance misuse, either their own or that of a family member, which is having a significant impact on the young person’s day to day life. Call them on 01387 244622.
And Alcohol and Drugs Support South West Scotland offers a range of community-based services across Dumfries and Galloway, helping people affected by alcohol, drugs or gambling problems. The contact number is 01556 503550.