Rushcliffe’s high level of unhealthy drinkers a cause for concern

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Rushcliffe Borough Council has teamed up with key partners in health and social care to deliver an important alcohol awareness campaign at bottle banks throughout the borough.

The Council has joined forces with NHS Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Change, Grow, Live (CGL), a social care and health charity that supports and enables people to change their lives for the better and achieve positive and life-affirming goals.

Together, they are working to deliver stickers to over 50 sites in Rushcliffe with subtle questions to make people think about their drinking habits whilst recycling. The questions are “Come here often?”, “Get smashed often” and “How many units are you recycling?” The stickers also provide contact information and aim to offer support if needed.

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Each bottle bank refers residents to a website where they can find information on the services that they provide across Rushcliffe at www.changegrowlive.org.

The campaign has been launched because the partners are concerned about the rise in people drinking at unhealthy levels. This means drinking more than 2-3 units a day for both men and women.

Rushcliffe has a high level of ‘unhealthy’ drinkers and excess regular alcohol intake can lead to issues such as mental health problems (anxiety, depression), high blood pressure, liver disease, reduced fertility, excess weight gain and heart disease.

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Dr Jeremy Griffiths, GP at Castle Healthcare Practice, Clinical Lead for Health and Wellbeing for NHS Rushcliffe CCG and Vice Chair of Nottinghamshire Health & Wellbeing Board, said:

“To reduce the chances of damaging their health through excess alcohol, we would encourage our residents to think about how much alcohol they are drinking and reduce this if it is above the NHS recommended levels. The risks of alcohol bingeing to patients include risk of injury, heart electrical disturbance, calorie overload as well as putting more pressure on an already stretched A&E department and NHS services.”

Councillor Debbie Mason, portfolio holder for the safety and well-being at Rushcliffe, said

“New Year is a time when people look to make a change after the excesses of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. More people visit bottle banks at this time of year and we hope to raise awareness of the need to watch what you drink. It is very easy for amounts to creep up. We’re proud of our excellent recycling rates and residents recycle up to 2,500 tonnes of glass per year. But we also hope our message gets home to as many people as possible so we can see a lowering of unhealthy drinking levels.”

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Jill Graham, Team Leader in Nottinghamshire from Change Grow Live (CGL) added:

“CGL provides drug and alcohol recovery support for adults across Nottinghamshire. Regular alcohol intake increases the risk to an individual’s health, but can also have an impact on close ones. We are committed to ensuring individuals gain the support they need to reach their goals. Our service can be accessed via telephone on 0115 8960798, by emailing notts@cgl.org.uk or via our website www.changegrowlive.org. Our goal is to help service users change the direction of their lives, grow as a person and live life to its full potential.”

The Council is very keen to make sure people keep recycling glass at its bottle banks and thinks this campaign is very timely after the festive and New Year period.

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