Revellers across Colchester and Tendring are being urged to drink responsibly and to stay safe during their new year celebrations. New Year’s Eve is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the local emergency services with thousands of people out seeing the new year in.
Dr Prashant Arora, a GP in Clacton, said: “If you’re celebrating the new year, out and about drinking with friends, or staying at home drinking, then please know your alcohol limits and stay safe. Our colleagues in A&E have to deal with many people’s binge-drinking, hangover symptoms and sprains from alcohol-related falls. Please remember to drink sensibly, stay safe and don’t stretch our already hard-pressed A&E staff to the limit.”
Essex County Council has launched an online tool - Don’t bottle it up (DBIU) – designed to offer alcohol screening, advice, intervention and referral. The test is free, quick and confidential and enables people to find out whether their drinking is risky, make a personalised plan to reduce their drinking, and to find local support options.
Ben Hughes, Head of Commissioning for Public Health and Wellbeing at Essex County Council said: “Alcohol misuse has a real impact on the lives of all those suffering as well as their friends and family. We want those who may be suffering at this time of the year to know that they are not alone, and there are many support services available in Essex that can help, one of which is the Don’t Bottle it up tool.”
Steve Woods, Criminal Justice and Welfare Manager for Open Road which manages the SOS bus service in Colchester, said: “Please keep an eye on your drinks and your friends during the celebrations. You can come and rehydrate yourselves with bottled water from the SOS Bus which will be located in Colchester High Street on the 29, 30 and 31 December between 9pm and 4am. We are there to support anyone that is vulnerable, under the influence of drugs and alcohol and we can support minor injuries like cuts and falls.”
Since the beginning of December, Essex Police have been highlighting the consequences driving while under the influence of drink or drugs showing ‘how it feels’ for the emergency services who deal with incidents first-hand. The campaign, which runs until 1 January 2018, has seen 70 people arrested during the first 17 days and warns people never to drink alcohol before driving.
Adam Pipe, Casualty Reduction Manager at Essex Police, said: “We are still seeing a high number of people drink driving, which is unacceptable. However, what is even more concerning is the number of people we are seeing drug driving. More than 1,200 people have been arrested on suspicion of drug driving in Essex since the start of last year. What we’ve also seen is a correlation between drug-driving offences and other areas of criminal behaviour. This indicates that those breaking one area of the law are also involved in other types of crimes.”
The effects of binge drinking can also be found at https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol/Pages/Bingedrinking.aspx
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