While some Irish people understand the health risks and want to drink less as a result, 37% people in Munster think their excessive drinking is ‘no big deal’ and cite ‘Irish culture’ as the main reason for poor drinking behaviour.
These findings, from research commissioned by Drinkaware, are in line with the latest Healthy Ireland Survey, which highlighted that 37% of drinkers in Ireland binge drink on a typical occasion.
Drinking in this way can increase the likelihood of people engaging in risky behaviours such as antisocial behaviour, drink driving and self-harm.
Ahead of the June bank holiday weekend, Drinkaware is encouraging people to be mindful of their alcohol intake this weekend, and have some simple changes people can make if they are drinking alcohol, especially at home:
- Alternate each drink with water to reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol and warmer temperatures
- Always use a measure: never free-pour spirits
- Order a free Standard Drink Measure Cup at drinkware.ie
- Never top up your wine glass – always finish one glass before refilling
- Downsize your drink by choosing lower alcohol beer and wine
- Avoid rounds – you may end up drinking more than you intended.
Speaking about the campaign, Drinkaware Chief Medical Officer, Dr Liam Twomey said: “While I am encouraged to see that half of people surveyed have already taken positive steps to change their drinking habits and that 26% of people in Munster would like to drink alcohol less often, the Drinkaware research revealed trends which are worrying, but not surprising. Bank holiday weekends are a prime time for alcohol misuse and for binge drinking episodes. Even when people aren’t ‘drinking to get drunk’, we see evidence of all-day drinking at parties, BBQs or family gatherings. Even drinking moderately over a long period of time can amount to excessive drinking when calculated over the whole weekend.”
How much and how often you drink can affect how alcohol impacts on your health and wellbeing, both now and in the future. Educate yourself so you can make an informed choice around alcohol.
Visit drinkaware.ie to find out further information.