Five year alcohol strategy will make the county healthier and safer

CabChrisDowling (Small)RAISING awareness of the dangers of alcohol and promoting a safer drinking culture are part of a strategy to make the county healthier and safer.

The East Sussex Drug and Alcohol Action Team Board and the East Sussex Safer Communities Partnership have published a five year strategy to address the issue alcohol misuse by ensuring authorities share the responsibility and work together.

The East Sussex Alcohol Strategy 2014-2019 was drawn up following research into drinking habits, which included a public Drink Debate. It sets out ways in which we can work towards changing the culture around alcohol.

The strategy focusses on three priorities; 

  • Developing knowledge and awareness towards alcohol
  • Providing early help, interventions and support for people affected by harmful drinking
  • Working with retailers and licensees to promote responsible drinking within the community

“We estimate that 23 per cent of adult drinkers in East Sussex are drinking at a level that is damaging their health,” said Councillor Chris Dowling, East Sussex County Council’s, lead member for Community Services. “This isn’t just about those drinking to excess in our town centres, but also those who regularly drink more than the recommended limits at home.

“Drinking more than the recommended levels can increase the risk of a wide range of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, throat and stomach cancers, liver disease, obesity and dementia. The recommended limits for men, is 3 to 4 units a day and for women, 2 to 3 units. A large glass of wine or a pint of strong lager or beer, are each about 3 units.

“Working with our partners, we want to encourage a culture that people who drink to do so without harming their health and wellbeing.

“By offering support and advice to those impacted by alcohol misuse and encouraging communities to have a say in how alcohol impacts on their neighbourhoods we can help to create better and safer socialising environments.”

In drawing up the strategy, the team asked residents what they thought about alcohol and the harm it can cause and analysed local data and about alcohol misuse and alcohol-related crime.

The aims of the strategy will be achieved through delivery of a co-ordinated action plan. The action plan and the strategy will be monitored throughout the year, and refreshed annually.

To view the strategy visit the Safe in East Sussex website