Pharmacies supporting people to change their alcohol habits

Community pharmacy staff across the county are ready to advise people on how they can change their drinking behaviour to help improve their health.

Somerset County Council is linking with pharmacies across Somerset in a bid to help support people who may be drinking in excess of the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines.

The project will run Somerset wide, initially for 3 months starting this month (July). It will see pharmacy staff at participating pharmacies start to talk about alcohol and motivate and support individuals to think about and/or plan a change in their drinking behaviour to reduce consumption.

It has been said that alcohol is the nation’s favourite coping mechanism. As we gradually come out of lockdown, some people are finding that they have changed their drinking habits during the many months of challenges and would appreciate support to reduce their drinking.

You don’t have to be dependent on alcohol to risk damaging your health. Lifestyle choices can increase or reduce the risk of harm on your physical and mental health.

To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it’s best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days.

Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council member responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “Times have been hard for us all since the pandemic arrived on our shores. Lockdowns and restrictions, anxieties and having more time on our hands have led to many people seeing their alcohol consumption rise.”

“As we start to move into the new normal, visiting your nearest participating pharmacy is a perfect opportunity for those who want help with cutting down on how much alcohol they drink, to get the advice and encouragement that they need.”

To find a participating pharmacy near you go to: