Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, today (Friday 19th) are the lead partner on Men’s Health Week 2020 and are urging all men, young and old, to take the opportunity to rethink their drinking and get the balance right.
Over a series of media contributions , AAI, mindful of the tremendous strain many men are under today as the pandemic continues to impact on our society, will encourage men to:
‘Rethink their drinking’ – In knowing what are the Low-risk Drinking Guidelines you can maintain a balance to drinking. By sticking to guidelines you can greatly improve your health and restore your wellbeing.
consider that ‘Less is better’ – Alcohol contributes to a range of chronic health conditions and diseases. Many are avoidable, if you can restore a balance to how much, and how often, you drink.
a reminder that ‘There is no comfort in drink’ – In these difficult times many have sought comfort in drink but this will only add to your stress; alcohol is a depressant and will aggravate your ability to cope.
Contrary to recent messaging from alcohol industry funded sources, many men have grasped the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown as an opportunity to change their behaviour with alcohol for the better.
This is particularly evident in the findings reported by the CSO in their Social Impact of COVID-19 surveyundertaken to measure the impact COVID-19 has had on Irish society in April 2020, which shows that ‘a much higher proportion of male respondents (26.0%) reported a decrease in alcohol consumption compared with females (8.6%).’
Currently there are approximately 1900 alcohol related, male deaths in Ireland, annually. Two thirds are related to illnesses such as gastrointestinal conditions – liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and alcohol-related cancers. Alcohol is a contributing factor in half of all male suicides. An RSA review of road users deaths shows that males making up 87% of drivers, 73% of passengers and 87% of pedestrians, killed on Irish roads between 10pm and 6am.
Commenting on the central theme of the day’s activity, Prof. Frank Murray, Chair, Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland, and AAI Board member, said:
“Adherence to the HSE low-risk drinking guidelines is a good place to start when restoring a balance to your drinking and reduce the risk of alcohol-related problems. The recommended weekly low-risk alcohol guidelines are less than 17 standard drinks for men; drinks should be spread out over the week and you should have 2 to 3 alcohol-free days per week. It is especially important not to drink more than 6 standard drinks on any one occasion.The less you drink the lower the risk of developing chronic or life threatening alcohol-related health issues.’
For more information on Men and Alcohol, download an information leaflet from the HSE ‘Ask About Alcohol’ programme.
Men’s Health Week is celebrated across Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and many other countries. On the island of Ireland, Men’s Health Week is coordinated by the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland with support from over 90 partner organisations. Financial support comes from the Health Service Executive and the Public Health Agency.
Running from Monday 15th June to Sunday 21st June (Father’s Day), this annual celebration aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems, support men and boys to live healthier lives, and encourage them to seek help or treatment early.