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Be a mindful millennial this party season

A leading alcohol addictions expert is encouraging millennials to drink mindfully over the party season and to be more aware of the consequences their drinking habits can have on their health ahead of Dry January.

Despite media reports that an increasing number of millennials are deciding to go teetotal, research from the Office of National Statistics shows that 16-24 year olds are still the group who are most likely to binge drink. This finding is particular prominent for women, with 41% of those 16-24 year olds who drink admitting to binge drinking in the week prior to the survey, compared to 34% of men

As the party season gets into full swing, a leading health expert warned today that the UK’s drinking culture has led many millennials into thinking that they always need a drink to have fun, without being aware of the impact a heavy night can have on their health.

“It’s no bad thing to have a few beers on a work night out, or a glass of mulled wine at a carol concert, but all too often this can run into having several drinks on a daily basis; and this is especially true in December. This sort of drinking habit can have devastating consequences, such as chronic liver disease, a silent killer of adults in the UK. However, around 90% of liver disease is preventable

Sharing his top five tips to encourage millennials to think about their drinking habits, Dr Campbell warns that young people shouldn’t wait until Dry January to start considering their drinking habits.

“I would strongly urge young people to remember that you don’t always need a drink to have fun. Being mindful of your drinking habits and how much you are consuming will ensure you can enjoy the festive season to the full, whilst ensuring you keep fit and healthy.”

Dr Niall’s five top tips are based on years of working with patients who have developed a dependency on alcohol.

They are:

  • Be honest. Have an honest look at how much you drink in an average week and cross-reference that with how much the people close to you think you consume.
  • Be aware. Look at the industry you work in or how you chose to spend your leisure time. At work, certain sectors, such as media and marketing, have particularly alcohol-heavy cultures - whether that’s dinners with clients or Friday afternoon drinks. Outside of work, how much time do you base your socialising around drinking? Just because it’s the norm, doesn’t make it healthy.
  • Be choosy. How often are you opting for a glass of wine or beer, when a soft drink might be more appropriate for that time of day, i.e. when meeting friends in the afternoon?
  • Be responsible. What are the consequences of your drinking? Do you regularly argue with your friends or family after a few drinks? Or struggle to remember how you got home?
  • Be reliable. Does drinking affect your work, or day-to-day life? Do you regularly phone in sick due to hangovers, or struggle to complete work? Do you regularly miss pre-planned engagements due to drinking too much the night before?

The long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption are well known, but these also apply to regularly exceeding the UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines of 14 units of alcohol a week, by any amount.

Remember if you think your drinking has become a more serious problem, speak to your GP or other healthcare provider for further advice and support.

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