DHB urges re­spon­si­ble drink­ing

Whanganui Midweek - - PATH OF LIFE -

With the sum­mer fes­tive sea­son around the cor­ner, Whanganui Dis­trict Health Board (WDHB) is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to drink al­co­hol re­spon­si­bly.

WDHB al­co­hol and other drugs health pro­mo­tion of­fi­cer Ch­ester Pe­naflor is urg­ing peo­ple to ac­tively en­cour­age their friends and fam­ily to drink mod­er­ately and to ac­cept that it’s not okay to pres­sure some­one to have an­other drink.

“Show sup­port and back your friends who are try­ing to ease up on the drink this sum­mer,” Mr Pe­naflor says. “If you know some­one who is try­ing to re­duce their drink­ing, please sup­port them. It is so­cially ac­cept­able to say ‘no more’ and to not be pres­sured to have ‘an­other one’.

“To re­duce long-term health risks as­so­ci­ated with al­co­hol, the cur­rent rec­om­men­da­tion is no more than two stan­dard drinks a day for women, no more than three stan­dard drinks for men, and to have at least two al­co­hol-free days a week.

“Mean­while, in preg­nancy, there’s no safe time, type or amount of al­co­hol to drink — that’s the mes­sage for preg­nant women, their part­ners and their fam­i­lies, who have an im­por­tant role to play in sup­port­ing al­co­hol-free preg­nan­cies. It falls upon all of us to look af­ter the health of our ba­bies-to-be.”

The safe-drink­ing mes­sage is also rel­e­vant for older and younger Whanganui dis­trict res­i­dents.

Spe­cial thought is needed for older adults who tend to ex­pe­ri­ence worse side-ef­fects from al­co­hol use, and for those un­der 18 years old for whom no al­co­hol is still the safest op­tion, Mr Pe­naflor says.

“An­other im­por­tant point to re­mem­ber is, when sup­ply­ing al­co­hol to those un­der the age of 18, you need to ob­tain con­sent from that per­son’s par­ent/le­gal guardian or you might find your­self pay­ing up to $2000 in fines.

“When it comes to hav­ing a good time, use sim­ple harm re­duc­tion tools such as drink­ing wa­ter in be­tween drinks or choos­ing low-al­co­hol drinks. It helps you en­joy the oc­ca­sion — and re­mem­ber it.”

■ If you find it hard to stop drink­ing or to cut back, talk to some­one you trust or call the Al­co­hol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797.

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