People across Cornwall are being urged to think more about how much they drink and what their drink could cost them over the festive period.
Cornwall Council’s Public Health team, Devon and Cornwall Police, South West Ambulance service and NHS staff across the region have come together to set the record straight on some of those things we always thought were true when it comes to drinking and are asking people to consider what the outcome could be, should they get carried away with their alcohol intake.From being safe to drive the next day, to taking up a valuable hospital bed, it’s not just your own safety and well-being that is at stake.
Raphael Wilkes, a Specialist Paramedic for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) in Cornwall, said: “Some people think that if you stick to the same alcohol type and don’t mix your drinks, you can drink as much as you like. But what matters more is the amount of alcohol you drink and how fast you consume it. Drinking too much of any alcohol too quickly can make you sick, whether it’s wine, beer, or spirits. That could mean you need to go to hospital in an ambulance, which is expensive. You could end-up using a bed that may be needed more by someone who’s critically ill. So please drink sensibly, and don’t drink too much too soon.”
Staff Nurse Alec from Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust talks about how having a big meal means you can drink more: “That’s not true. By eating a lot before you go out you actually just slow down the absorption of alcohol. It means that the alcohol will hang around in your body for longer but it won’t get you any less drunk. In fact, you could end up drinking more than usual as you weren’t feeling the effect, and you don’t want to spend your Christmas party in the MIU with us.”
Cornwall Council’s Deputy Director for Public Health, Steve Brown said: “We all enjoy getting together with family, friends and colleagues at this time of year and some of us might get carried away and one drink can easily escalate into many, however it’s important to consider the effects of drinking too much and the impact it can have on your safety and the safety of others around you.
Devon and Cornwall Police said: Another common myth is you sleep off the amount of alcohol you drink and you’ll be fine to drive the next day. In actual fact each unit you drink takes an hour to leave your body. So your average pint of beer of cider has 2 units and 8 pints will take 16 hours to fully leave your body from the time you had your first pint. If you’re driving early in the morning and the police pull you over, you could lose your licence.”
To help you set limits on your drinking you can use the DrinksMeter app which can be downloaded on the Google Play store or Apple App store.
If anyone is concerned about how much they are drinking, or concerned about someone else’s drinking they can call Healthy Cornwall on 01209 615600 or visit the Healthy Cornwall website www.healthycornwall.org.uk/onetoomany