Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Alcohol Awareness Week 2016

Our News in Brief

Alcohol Awareness Week 2016

14th November 2016
Alcohol Awareness Week, 14th to 20th November 2016, aims to get people thinking about alcohol – how it affects us as individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.

Organised by Alcohol Concern, this year’s awareness week will focus on the health risks associated with alcohol. This follows the CMO’s guidance on recommended limits of alcohol, updated in January 2016. The new guidance states that the limits for both men and women are the same – which is to not drink more than 14 units a week, and spreading these units evenly over 3 or more days.

For those who do drink more, the health consequences can be severe. Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure; depression; diabetes and brain damage (1). It is estimated that alcohol misuse costs society £21billion each year in healthcare, crime and lost productivity costs. (2) In Newham, where Caritas Anchor House is based, almost 30,000 people drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol, risking damage to their health and costing healthcare services approximately £9.8 million per year.

At Caritas Anchor House, up to 25% of our residents have experience of substance misuse, and our dedicated team of Lifestyle Architects work with them to help address and overcome these difficulties. We work in partnership with alcohol and drug misuse agencies to provide specialist services, host Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous meetings on-site, and organise regular wellbeing workshops, which cover topics such as drugs and alcohol, mental health and wellbeing.

Having been referred to us from a partner organisation, Alan became a resident of Caritas Anchor House almost one year ago. He had been using substances heavily for a number of years, but since coming to Caritas Anchor House his life has changed dramatically.

“You get out of Caritas Anchor House what you put into it. If you want to help yourself, they will do everything they can to help you do so.”

Alan was assigned a Lifestyle Architect at Caritas Anchor House, who helped him to manage his substance misuse needs, as well as access training, education and volunteering programmes. Alan is no longer using and is engaged with Change Grow Live (CGL), a partner organisation, to support him in remaining substance-free.

“I was in a dark place and didn’t think I’d ever make anything of myself. I’m happy to say that with Caritas Anchor House’s help, I’m not using, have completed a course in underground construction and am preparing to get back into work. Who would have thought it?”

For help and advice on alcohol related issues, please visit Alcohol Concern, or search for alcohol services near you here.

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