Alcoholism affects all elements of health. Overuse of alcohol affects physical health as it affects the functioning of the liver; mental health as it affects the ability to think clearly and coherently; emotional health as it affects the ability to recognise and express emotions correctly. Social health is affected as alcohol may affect a person’s ability to create and maintain relationships, finally and most importantly it affects societal health as the individual's actions can have an adverse affect on everyone around them.
Alcohol related injuries and diseases are the cause of 207, 800 National Health Service (NHS) admissions in 2006 compared to 93, 500 in 1996.¹ This increase of more than 100% justifies my health promotion topic. Health promotion to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed by the general public could lead to less people admitted to hospital because of falls due to drunkenness, increased liver health, decreases in the number of cases of coronary heart disease, liver disease, hypertension, STIs and unplanned pregnancy.², ³
The locations chosen were the Accident and Emergency Unit in Bradford Royal Infirmary and a local GP. I chose these locations as I felt they were relevant to the promotion of reducing alcohol consumption. If a person fell or was involved in violence while intoxicated, presumably the friends and relatives of potential patients would be in the accident and emergency unit while waiting for their loved one to be treated. They may pick the leaflet up and recognise the quiz involved relates to their loved one and urge them to get help or at least enquire with one of the local help groups. The other leaflet was taken from the local health centre, people who are attending would presumably be sober enough to read this leaflet for themselves and be able to calculate their average weekly unit intake and recognise they may need help.
Results and Discussion
The key information that should be included in an alcohol awareness includes, what is a unit, government guidelines on the maximum level of alcohol consumption in a week, how many units are in popular brands of drinks and importantly, the law on alcohol consumption. The leaflet should also outline the common health effects and risks of drinking alcohol in excess, both short term for example stumbling leading to possible broken bones, vomiting, females becoming an easier target for rape; and long term for example liver cirrhosis, STIs, reduced fertility³ to name a few. These risks should be briefly explained using terminology that people with no background of medical education would understand. Included should also be precautions for people to take prior to drinking if they know that they are going to have a night out where they may be tempted to drink more than recommended, for example drink water in between alcoholic drinks, eat a starchy meal before going out. It should also include useful and practical tips on how to drink less alcohol on...