The annual, UK-wide Drinkaware Monitor was published last week and the results paint an interesting picture of how people in Northern Ireland think about alcohol.

According to more than three in five adult drinkers (63%), the region has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. That’s lower than the figure recorded for the same opinion in Scotland (66%) but higher than the 56% holding this view in England and significantly beyond the 38% of Welsh adult drinkers who agree with the statement.

By contrast, in Northern Ireland, many of these same individuals do not consider their own alcohol use to be unhealthy; only one in 10 believe it to be problematic.

These numbers rise, however, when respondents were asked to assess the behaviour of family and peers: just over a quarter (27%) expressed concern over friends’ drinking. As for steps they have taken to support or assist loved ones, 25% have done nothing specific and 24% have suggested professional treatment.

While 50% of people polled in Northern Ireland have initiated a conversation around the issue, only 26% feel very comfortable talking about the topic with family. Slightly under a quarter (24%) were keen to do so with friends, compared with those who would easily speak to a partner or spouse (35%).

The Monitor also found that fewer locals are drinking at home alone in 2023 (15%) than in 2021 (22%).

If you want to learn more about alcohol and how to deal with its impact, the Inspire Support Hub has some brilliant content. For example, we have created a virtual bar. It will aid you in determining your weekly alcohol intake.

The Hub also features an mood tracker, which you can use to gauge how you’re feeling day to day. This can be utilised alongside the Hub’s goal tracker. Why not try to reduce your consumption gradually and then see how that affects your mood?

Elsewhere, the Alcohol and Me self-help guide will get you thinking about the things you need to do to feel better. In fact, there are lots of resources here.

And remember: you can always self-refer through the Hub, over the phone or by email. We are here to give you the right support at the right time.

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