With the summer festive season around the corner, Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is encouraging people to drink alcohol responsibly.
WDHB alcohol and other drugs health promotion officer Chester Penaflor is urging people to actively encourage their friends and family to drink moderately and to accept that it’s not OK to pressure someone to have another drink.
“Show support and back your friends who are trying to ease up on the drink this summer,” Mr Penaflor says. “If you know someone who is trying to reduce their drinking, please support them. It is socially acceptable to say ‘no more’ and to not be pressured to have ‘another one’.
“To reduce long-term health risks associated with alcohol, the current recommendation is no more than two standard drinks a day for women, no more than three standard drinks for men, and to have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
“Meanwhile, in pregnancy, there’s no safe time, type or amount of alcohol to drink - that’s the message for pregnant women, their partners and their families, who have an important role to play in supporting alcohol-free pregnancies. It falls upon all of us to look after the health of our babies-to-be.”
The safe-drinking message is also relevant for older and younger Whanganui district residents.
Special thought is needed for older adults who tend to experience worse side-effects from alcohol use, and for those under 18 years old for whom no alcohol is still the safest option, Mr Penaflor says.
“Another important point to remember is, when supplying alcohol to those under the age of 18, you need to obtain consent from that person’s parent/legal guardian or you might find yourself paying up to $2000 in fines.
“When it comes to having a good time, use simple harm reduction tools such as drinking water in between drinks or choosing low-alcohol drinks. It helps you enjoy the occasion - and remember it.”
If you find it hard to stop drinking or to cut back, talk to someone you trust or call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797.