HEALTH: It’s time for the UK to get thinking about drinking


This week is Alcohol Awareness Week which aims to encourage people to consider how much alcohol they are consuming.

Figures from Public Health England Dorset show that around 68,000 people in the BCP area regularly drink more than the recommended limit of 14 units each week.

The Alcohol Care and Treatment Service (ACTS) team at Poole Hospital aim to help people deal with alcohol-related problems. One resident who has been helped by the ACTS team is 63-year-old John McBride, a former senior university lecturer.

As John’s life progressed, his work became more stressful and he dealt with it by increasing his drinking. John was prescribed with antidepressants and was advised to take early retirement on the grounds of ill health.

Feelings of rejection and obsolescence consumed John and he was eventually admitted to hospital because of his excessive drinking. 

John said: “Following an admission to Poole Hospital in 2017 I met the ACTS team. They were very direct and basically told me that if I carried on, I would die.”

John accepted their support which enabled him to take back control of his life without alcohol and has been sober ever since.

John said: “I’m now in a position in which I am volunteering with the ACTS team, and using my experience and insight to help others.

“I started with a question, and I’ll end on one. How much do you drink? Be honest, most of us aren’t.”

Graeme White, head of addiction services at the hospital said: ““John is a great example of where the right tools, information and intervention can dramatically turn lives around and he will be a great asset to the ACTS team.”

“We need to make sure people are better informed about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and advice and information that’s available.”



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