July's House of Commons Health Select Committee report on the government's Alcohol Strategy holds up Drinkaware's 'Why let good times go bad?' campaign, to tackle alcohol misuse among young adults, as an example of best practice.
As a charity dedicated to changing the UK's drinking culture, we work with ministers, health professionals and the drinks industry to reduce alcohol misuse. While the media focus is almost exclusively on young adults sprawled on pavements after a night out drinking, in reality, 25 - 44 year old working professionals across Britain are drinking more heavily and regularly than young adults; recent ONS statistics confirm this trend.
Many are unaware that women drinking two or more medium glasses of wine and men drinking more than three pints of 4 per cent beer most days of the week are 'increasing risk' drinkers.
Many consumers do not realise the long-term health risks they face, ranging from liver disease to heart problems and cancer. It is important to cut intake and have days off drinking to reduce the body's tolerance to alcohol.
Drinkaware's campaigns give consumers the facts, simple tips and tools to help them change their relationship with alcohol. These have already shown early signs of delivering positive behaviour change. Active users of MyDrinkaware, our lifestyle management tool, say they have reduced their drinking from 5 to 3.9 units per day.
In the past six months alone, more than half a million resources, including unit calculators and unit measure cups, have been ordered from Drinkaware (in excess of 200,000 by health professionals, nearly 50,000 by local authorities and more than 70,000 by education providers).
We urge nurses working in public health to use such resources to help us change the UK's drinking culture and reduce the staggering cost of alcohol misuse to society. We cannot change a culture overnight, but your help is invaluable in making real progress to tackle alcohol misuse and alcohol-related ill health.
Professor Paul Wallace, chief medical adviser, Drinkaware