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Addiction, drugs and alcohol

Addiction covers many areas of society: alcohol, drugs, gambling, co-dependency, food, shopping, sex, exercise and the Internet.

Local and county agencies, such as Drug and Alcohol Treatment services, Essex Police, Essex Probation, Essex County Council, Local Education Authorities, Youth Offending Teams, local Prisons and HM Customs and Excise, work together to tackle drugs and alcohol issues which include educating young people about the risks of drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, providing funding for treatment services to help people with substance misuse problems and working closely to reduce the availability of drugs on the street.

For more information visit the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust website.

Alcohol - Know your limits

  • Eat before drinking: food slows down how fast
    alcohol gets into your bloodstream. It also gives you more energy and lessens the effects the next day.
  • Drink lighter beers. The difference between a pint of 5% lager, and a 3.5% or 4% one is a whole unit.
  • Set a drinks limit: decide a drinks limit in advance, and then stick to it.
  • Have a strategic soft drink or water: try starting off your night with a non-alcoholic drink. It will quench your thirst before you move on to alcohol.
  • Consider alternating between an alcoholic drink and a non-alcoholic drink or at least throw in a non-alcoholic one once in a while to keep the body hydrated, and it will lessen the effects the next day. Drinking water before you go to bed will also help.
  • Avoid drinking in rounds: this can often mean drinking  at a faster pace set by someone else in the group. It may also mean that you end up drinking more than you intended as you accept people returning your kindness after you have bought them a drink.
  • Be your own person: you should never feel as though you have to drink something if you don't want to. 
  • Keep track of how much you've been drinking.
  • Use more mixers: diluting a drink with another mixer will make it last longer, and lessen the effects.
  • Drink smaller drinks: it sounds obvious, but it's better to drink smaller measures of drinks if you have the choice - especially with wine. A large glass of wine in most bars is equivalent to a third of a bottle!
  • Plan your journey home: don't leave it to chance - think about how you're going to get home, and who with, before you go out. Make arrangements before you start drinking, and make sure you don't get left to walk home alone

Alcohol awareness

Find out about how alcohol affects you and how to stay safe at these websites:

or ring the Drink-line helpline on 0800 917 8282.