Alcohol Awareness Week launched in Redbridge

HEALTH workers across the borough are joining forces to highlight the treatment being offered to Redbridge drinkers.

Alcohol Awareness Week, which begins today, will see issues such as binge-drinking, alcoholism and alcohol-related health problems thrown under the spotlight.

At Loxford Polyclinic, Loxford Lane, Ilford, alcohol workers will meet with staff and patients to raise awareness about safe drinking.

As well as giving out help materials such as unit calculators and drinks diaries, they will offer information on the routes to sobriety already available.

Redbridge Drug and Alcohol Service, run by the Drug and Alcohol Action Team, offers counselling and detox services and also co-ordinates a shared care scheme, which encourages GPs to identify and offer help to high risk drinkers in the early stages.

A substance misuse worker is also visiting King George Hospital A&E, as well as Queen’s Hospital and Whipps Cross, to offer help to alcohol-related patients.

Chris Day, National Treatment Agency service user representative for Redbridge, said a lot more money still needs to go in to developing a strategy for dealing with alcohol issues.

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He said: “It isn’t treated in the same way as drug treatment and it is only just getting the attention it should have had for some time.

“But Redbridge as a borough does recognise the value of substance user involvement.”