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Wednesday 13 October 2010

Is alcohol damaging childhood?


Alcohol Awareness Week 2010

Cheshire East Council is backing this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week.

The authority has announced its support for the 2010 campaign by Alcohol Concern, which will focus on ’alcohol and childhood’.

This theme will encompass three key areas:

  • Alcohol use by young people;
  • The impact of parental drinking;
  • The influence of alcohol marketing on young people.

Reports on these issues will be released by Alcohol Concern during Alcohol Awareness Week (October 18–24).

A Life Education Centre survey in 2008 found almost a third of children (30%) think that, for adults who drink wine, drinking five or more glasses of wine in one night is normal drinking behaviour.

The survey also found more than a quarter of children (27%) think people who drink beer would normally drink four pints or six bottles in one evening.

Alcohol consumption has nearly doubled since the 1950s and the number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK has increased consistently since the early 1990s.

Out of 324 local authorities in England, Cheshire East currently ranks 156th for binge drinking, 309th for hazardous drinking and 216th for harmful drinking (where a rank of 1 is the best local authority in England and a rank of 326 is the worst).

In the UK in 2009, more than 945,000 people were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related issues.

Statistics recorded by the Northwest Public Health Observatory indicate that hospital admissions for alcohol-related issues in 2008/09, within Cheshire East, were 1600.6 (per 100,000 people) compared to 1480.6 in 2007/08.

Alcohol abuse costs the Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust £31.5m a year.

Cheshire East Council’s website contains information and advice for anyone who has concerns about alcohol misuse. Alternatively, contact the health improvement team on 01270 686 600.

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“Alcohol Awareness Week can go a long way to highlighting the impact alcohol misuse can have on all of us. This isn’t about being killjoys and telling parents not to drink – it is about understanding how alcohol can have a profound affect on children, shaping the way they perceive alcohol in the future.

“As an authority, we have previously voiced concerns about how cheap alcohol is having a significant impact on its misuse – having endorsed recommendations to set a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol. 

“I would like to urge anyone who has concerns about alcohol misuse to contact Alcohol Concern or the health improvement team for confidential advice.”

More information can be found on: and on the Cheshire East Council website at:

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