Over three-quarters of adults in Northern Ireland drink alcohol but consuming too much can seriously affect our health. Therefore, to mark Alcohol Awareness Week between 20-26 June, a comedy and mocktail night was held at Centred Soul, Newry on Friday 24 June to help understand our drinking behaviour and explore our relationship with alcohol.
The event called ‘A Night You WILL Remember’, was organised in partnership with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, PCSP, Newry DEA and Start 360; supported by the Public Health Agency and the Five Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams.
Following the pandemic restrictions, studies would suggest that the private consumption of alcohol in the home has risen, however, there is a lack of understanding of the correct measure of what a unit of alcohol actually is when serving it at home. Therefore, in a bid to raise awareness of the responsible consumption of alcohol, the event, hosted by Centred Soul, Hill Street, Newry focused on a fun evening out in the absence of alcohol, that provided information on drinking responsibly.
Special guest for the evening was Emer Maguire, an international award winning science communicator, BBC presenter, four time TEDx speaker, presenter of the podcast ‘Elementary My Dear’ and a musical comedian with a sold out Edinburgh Fringe run under her belt. Emer performed during the evening and hosted an interactive Alcohol Awareness quiz to further raise understanding on the safe consumption of alcohol.
Speaking about the event, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “I was really encouraged to see such a good turnout of people wanting to learn more about the safe consumption of alcohol. Alcohol remains our number one drug of choice in Northern Ireland. Its misuse harms people’s health and damages relationships and society through violence, crime, accidents and drink driving. Therefore, it is important that we understand how much we’re drinking by taking the alcohol MOT and learning how many units are in our drink of choice.”
Participants were given mocktail making kits to enjoy creating together during the evening, and they had the opportunity to complete an ‘Alcohol MOT’ that assesses individual levels of consumption. Alcohol Awareness Packs were also provided, which included information of what a unit of alcohol looks like and listed different unit levels in the various alcoholic drinks available. They also signposted information on where people can access help and support for themselves or anyone they are concerned about.
If anyone would like to take the Alcohol MOT, please visit audit 2017 final (drugsandalcoholni.info)