Reflecting on our relationships and alcohol this Alcohol Awareness Week

Residents who drink alcohol are being urged to take some time to think about how it impacts them and their relationships with others as the county marks Alcohol Awareness Week (15 - 21 November 2021).

Oxfordshire County Council is joining over 4,000 other community groups across the UK to raise awareness of how alcohol can affect individuals and their relationships.

Led by Alcohol Change UK, Alcohol Awareness Week seeks to get people thinking and talking about alcohol to motivate change at every level.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “Many of us drink alcohol for several reasons: to relax, to socialise, to relieve boredom or feelings of loneliness, or to try and cope with problems. However, drinking too much, and too often, can cause or exacerbate problems in both our physical and mental health, including relationships with our loved ones.

“Alcohol can also negatively affect our relationships. It can heighten family tensions, get in the way of clear communication, and mean we are less present for each other, including our children. There is also a real risk of someone’s drinking causing conflict, with alcohol being a factor in many cases of child neglect and domestic abuse.

“What’s more, for some of us, alcohol can become a central aspect of our relationships with friends, family or partners. When this happens, it can become particularly difficult for somebody to take action to improve their drinking habits, even when they want to.

“Alcohol Awareness Week is a chance for everyone to take time to reflect and talk about our relationships with alcohol and think about the impact it has on us and our relationships with others. It is also an opportunity for those who may have concerns to seek support.”

Drink Coach also has a free, quick and confidential alcohol test for residents to learn more about the impact that their drinking habits could be having.

Residents with concerns about their or someone else’s drinking can get support and advice from Turning Point – a service commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council. It provides a variety of confidential treatment options for those with addiction problems at hubs across the county.

Those who would like to speak to Turning Point about alcohol or drug use can contact the service on 0300 0134 776. Find out more information about drug and alcohol services in Oxfordshire by visiting Oxfordshire County Council’s website.

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