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Alcohol Awareness Week 2023

3-9 July is Alcohol Awareness Week. Every year, Alcohol Change UK chooses a theme to raise awareness around the problems alcohol can cause to individuals, families, couples, finances, and more. This year, the theme is ‘cost’.

There are many different costs linked to alcohol – personal, social, and financial. For example, an alcohol dependency can negatively affect your mental and physical health; put strain on your relationships; and also impact your bank balance, and even put you in debt, if you’re buying alcohol often.

The links between alcohol and mental health

  • Alcohol is a depressant, as it slows down your nervous system. You may feel more relaxed and confident at first, but these effects soon wear off, and can cause you to feel down or even depressed.  
  • Research shows that regular alcohol drinkers are more likely to struggle with their mental health, and that people with severe mental health issues are more likely to drink alcohol, often as a way of coping with how they’re feeling. 
  • If you struggle with anxiety, alcohol may give you short term relief that quickly goes away. You may find that you feel particularly anxious during a hangover.  
  • Alcohol can make you act on impulse without thinking things through – this can sometimes lead to self-harm or even suicide. 

The signs of an alcohol problem 

It’s important that we all know our limits, and how to recognise the signs of a problem or addiction in ourselves and the people around us. 

Here are some of the signs of an alcohol problem: 

  • Lack of control over how much you’re drinking
  • Excessive or frequent drinking
  • Finding it hard to relax without a drink
  • Other people commenting on how much you’re drinking 

How to get help

If you think you’re struggling with an alcohol problem or addiction, don’t struggle alone.

A good place to start is with your GP – they will be able to recommend a support service in your local area. You can also find local services online via the NHS.

You can also access free NHS Talking Therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and counselling, via our self-referral button below.

friends drinking wine

Published date:

5th July 2023

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