Daily Archives: 27/05/2016

Friday Sober Jukebox – The Boys Are Back in Town

Boys are back in townSo I don’t know if I’m just hankering for an excuse to put a photo of DCI Hunt from the excellent TV series Life On Mars up (who I loved) but there have been a couple of news stories of late about men and drinking that link this image and Thin Lizzy (which also featured heavily in the series) tune that the jukebox is featuring – ‘the boys are back in town’ in my head.  Male sober bloggers are a rarer breed and so when I see a news article featuring the voices of men I am heartened.  Like this ‘comment is free‘ in The Guardian recently:

What it’s like to quit drinking, by those who’ve done it – or are trying

Brits’ relationship with alcohol has come under the spotlight, with experts calling for warnings on all alcohol – and saying that men in particular refuse to believe the risks. This comes as data shows that millions of middle-aged men drink more than is recommended in new government guidelines – the limit was lowered in January for men from 21 units a week to 14, the same as women.

For some, their relationship with alcohol is such that they decide to stop drinking completely, either for life or for a few months. This can be for a variety of reasons – to tackle more severe problems such as alcoholism or simply for better health.

We spoke to five people about the moment they decided to quit, and how hard it was. Here are their stories

Steve Craftman, south Wales: I never feel more alone than when I’m with a group of partying drunks

Max Dalda Müller, Somerset: I was drinking 15-20 cans of Special Brew a day

Charlie Doeg-Smith Dundee: I intend to give up for good but I know it won’t be easy

Anonymous, London: I managed to pull myself back from the brink

Here’s the Drinkaware charity news release that prompted the responders above and the original news story:

Experts call for warnings on all alcohol as men refuse to believe risks

“More than half (53%) of middle-aged men drinking above the low-risk guidelines do not believe they will incur increased health problems if they continue drinking at their current level, with almost half (49%) of these drinkers also believing moderate drinking is good for your health,” says the organisation.

It also prompted this considered response from Alcohol Policy UK:

Do risky drinkers consider their drinking ‘problematic’?

Understanding how many at risk drinkers do not consider themselves to be, and the reasons behind this, can be considered important from policy and practitioner perspectives. Interventions tend only to be effective where they appreciate the drinker’s beliefs and motivations; brief intervention approaches may sometimes ‘work’ because they initiate awareness of risk in the first instance, or for others because they help a person to resolve ‘ambivalence’ and enhance motivation.

Maybe there is something of the Gene Genie (aka DCI Gene Hunt) about this denial of the risk of alcohol to men?  Maybe some male readers of my blog would like to share their thoughts 🙂

Over to Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy 😉

PHE One You

PHE One YouIn March Public Health England (PHE) launched their brand new health campaign One You. They reported that the response so far was fantastic and they were delighted to see such a positive reaction in the media, from our partners and from the public online.

The image is a screen grab of what it looks like and here are some of the categories and areas for information around drinking.

Drink and you

It may seem like you don’t drink much, but a drink or two most evenings can do harm to your body. From making you gain weight to increasing your risk of cancer, alcohol can have serious effects on your body.

The more you drink, and the more often, the greater the risk to your health.

It has further information headings covering being drunk, booze and your body and other health worries.

Why cut down?

If you regularly drink above the lower risk guidelines, cutting back on alcohol can help your general wellbeing. Once you start cutting back, you’ll probably notice the benefits. The biggest benefit is the reduced risk to your health, but there are lots of others, too.

Medical warning: If you have physical withdrawal symptoms (shaking, sweating or feelings of anxiety until you have your first drink of the day) you should take medical advice before stopping completely – it can be dangerous to do this too quickly and without proper advice and support. Call Drinkline free on 0300 123 1110 for more advice.

Further subheadings look at: Be healthier, save some cash and feel full of beans.

Drink less

It’s important to know how much you are drinking and that there are easy ways you can cut back, without cutting alcohol out completely.

You could try making some simple swaps when you’re out, or, if you drink every day, having at least a couple of booze-free nights each week.

And further advice entitled: Tools to cut down, top tips to drink less and need more support.

Read more at https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/drinking#3ojU5h2PDSQRhXjK.99

It looks really good and is an improvement on the Change for Life campaign in my opinion.  Thanks Public Health England! 🙂

PS New header image time – the Great Barrier Reef in preparation for our summer 1000 day reward 😉