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Here comes the weekend

William Haydock

As the weekend approaches, a lot of us will be heading out into town to enjoy ‘a few drinks’, particularly as the Christmas party season starts.  Dorset has lots of brilliant places to enjoy a night out, but when does ‘a few’ become ‘a few too many’?

The first thing is that going out should be fun, and most of us have had nights out that we’ve not enjoyed because either we’ve overdone the booze or someone else has.  But exactly what makes a good night out will vary from person to person.  The purpose of Alcohol Awareness Week – and indeed all of the work of Alcohol Change UK – isn’t too tell people to drink less; it’s so that people who drink do so ‘as a conscious choice, not a default’.

For those of us who do enjoy an alcoholic drink on a night out, if we make active, conscious decisions then we can avoid lots of the potential pitfalls.  Most of us don’t want to be sick, or to become incapable, and if we actively think about each drink, then we’re more likely to enjoy them and not go overboard.  Organisations like Alcohol Change and Drinkaware offer tips on how to have a safe, enjoyable night out.

But we know that sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we can still go too far.  And that’s where some wonderful services step in locally.  This isn’t just about A&E.  The Safe Bus project in Bournemouth brings together staff from a range of different organisations to support people who end up drunk, injured or in distress.

You can see The Safe Bus today at The Triangle in Bournemouth from 10am – 2pm. Come and see the volunteers and services who work on the bus and find out about excellent work that’s done there, keeping people safe while reducing the impact on the wider health service. Drugs and alcohol support services Addaction will also be there explaining how they help people overcome their problems with alcohol.

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