GP survey highlights need for clearer alcohol information, says Swanswell

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With more people turning to alcohol to cope with the recession, Swanswell’s calling for clearer information about the risks of drinking too much.

It’s not something any government or organisation can do on its own, we all have a responsibility to tackle alcohol misuse

The national charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to the results of a survey of 300 General Practitioners (GPs) released today (14 August) by the Insight Research Group.

According to the survey, GPs say tough times have lead to their patients drinking more, suffering more anxiety and exercising less – with the middle classes hit particularly hard.

Two thirds of GPs felt there was an increase in patients drinking more alcohol and almost half thought they’d seen an increase in serious alcohol misuse, the survey found.

Overall, three quarters of those questioned said the economic downturn was making people more unhealthy.

Chris Robinson, Swanswell’s Director of Services, said: ‘It’s worrying that more people are turning to alcohol as a way of coping in these difficult times.

‘Although alcohol can make people feel more relaxed, it gives a false sense of security – it’s a depressant and in the long term will make you feel worse.

‘Before long, regular alcohol use can become a big problem on its own, particularly to your health and wellbeing.

‘There is a lot of mixed messaging about alcohol out there and it’s often difficult for people to filter out the basic information they need to make informed decisions about their alcohol use, so clear information should be available at the point of purchase.

‘Ultimately there needs to be a big shift in society’s view about alcohol and how it’s often promoted as a way to enjoy yourself. It’s not something any government or organisation can do on its own, we all have a responsibility to tackle alcohol misuse.’

To find out more about Swanswell including the services it provides, visit http://www.swanswell.org.

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Stuart Goodwin
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