Alcohol Awareness Class Prevents Holiday Binging

by: Mike Miller

As we all know alcohol plays a prominent role during the holiday season for many people. Alcohol and drug use definitely has a tendency to increase during this season.

Not surprisingly, alcohol and drug centers say they are expecting an increase in the number of people turning to them for help over the festive period.

This Holds True for UK Too

Three of the biggest services in Wales - Cais in north Wales, Inroads in Cardiff and Swansea Drugs Project - all have staff on hand offering outreach and support services.

They say the situation is not helped by the current economic climate. But they pointed to relapses and alcohol as being the biggest issues.

There are three reasons why the season is so difficult. It's a time when people are expected to be enjoying themselves and that often means lots of drinking going on.

Regret and Failure

Trying to avoid that when it's the most damaging thing in the world is difficult when you are surrounded by it. Christmas for many people is also about families and relationships. This is denied to many people in our client group because they are separate from families or lose contact or maybe a family has been wrecked by substance misuse. The feeling of regret and failure is accentuated.

In the United Kingdom heroin is the main drug problem in the city but there has been a notable increase in alcohol use among all ages.

The project dealt with 30% more substance misuse cases over the last year, of which almost 70% was alcohol-related.

Entrenched and Problematic

The number of cases involving youngster’s under-18 had almost doubled in the last year to 101, and work on education in schools has quadrupled.

Ross Woodfield, young person substance misuse worker at Inroads, said youngsters' drug or alcohol use is usually "entrenched and problematic".

"If you are seeking a substance to escape whatever it is, then rather than heroin, cannabis or cocaine, the cheapest way to do it is to through alcohol," he said.

"It is socially acceptable and widely promoted. There needs a wake-up call to do something about it."

The UK government has introduced a ban on the sale of alcohol for less than cost or less than cost price, which will come into force in England and Wales in April 2012.

It is nice to see these centers working proactively, not just responding to a problem. They understand the need for drug awareness classes as well as the benefits for alcohol classes.