As the festive season gets under way, Croydon residents are being advised to take three wise steps – eat a healthy meal before going out, pace your drinking, and plan your journey home.
Croydon Council and the local NHS are supporting the London-wide Eat. Pace. Plan. campaign, which aims to keep your Christmas merry and bright, whether you are staying in or going out, by avoiding the need to call an ambulance or make a trip to A&E from excessive drinking.
Last year, the London Ambulance Service responded to more than 60,000 alcohol related calls, which is around 160 calls each day during this period.
London Fire Brigade have dealt with 1,120 alcohol related incidents in the last three years.
Residents can find advice on drinking alcohol safely and sensibly on the council’s health website Just Be Croydon. The Eat. Pace. Plan campaign’s top tips for a more enjoyable time are:
• Eat a healthy meal before going out which can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol in your body, as drinking on an empty stomach can make you quickly feel unwell.
• Pace yourself and space out your drinking with water, or a non-alcoholic beverage in-between to help you stay in control.
• Keep safe by never leaving your drink unattended and plan your journey home by public transport or pre-book a licensed cab.
Men and women are advised to not drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis, equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
The Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines states that if you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this over three or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of long-term illness and injury.
People often take risks that they would not otherwise when they are inhibited by alcohol and planning ahead can help you and those you are out with to keep physically and emotionally safe.
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care: “We want residents and people out in Croydon to have a good time throughout the Christmas season. The Eat. Pace. Plan campaign is a great reminder that a little extra planning for a night out, or if you are drinking at home, can make it a lot more fun in the long run for everyone. The council offers online and face-to-face support for anyone who needs more information about the effects of alcohol on their health and wellbeing.”
Matthew Kershaw, Chief Executive at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust said: “Christmas is a time of celebrations and the Eat. Pace. Plan campaign is a great guide to staying well and enjoying this precious time with family and friends. By supporting one another to live and stay well, we can together ensure that when people need care and treatment, the right staff and services are available across the community to support them.”