New service targets regular drinkers who go over limits

People are warned drinking more than the recommended limit can damage health
People are warned drinking more than the recommended limit can damage health

A PILOT project aimed at people who regularly drink too much alcohol has been launched in Adur.

The service, the first of its kind in the area, has been developed by Adur and Worthing councils, West Sussex County Council and NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group.

People who risk their health by drinking too much alcohol and have been assessed by their GP to be at risk of alcohol-related harm will be offered an appointment with the new Alcohol and Wellbeing Service.

Cllr David Simmons, Adur cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Alcohol is frequently at the root of many other problems experienced by families and local people, which includes domestic violence and public place violent crime.

“In addition, people with alcohol dependency also use medical and other services more frequently, which also impacts on employability and family cohesion, sometimes leading to family break-up.”

He said the project aimed to address alcohol problems and he was sure it would prove to be an invaluable asset to the community.

The service will be available in venues across the district, offering personalised, one-to-one support, to help people take control of their drinking habits and work towards a healthier lifestyle.

Latest figures show one in five people over the age of 16 in Adur and Worthing are putting their health at risk as a result of alcohol.

Tim Brooks, who will be delivering the sessions, said: “Individuals often struggle on their own to either know they have a problem with alcohol or that they need help – and very soon they can find that drink starts to take control over their lives.

“They may recognise that they need help but might not know where to start or may feel that other group-based services are not for them. In addition, many people would just like to cut down to safer levels rather than being counselled to give up drinking completely.

“If the clients who come to us for support are ready to make a start in getting control back over their drinking, my team and I will do all we can to guide them through their journey to a healthier way of life. They will not have to do it alone.”

Depending on the patient’s needs, up to 18 sessions with a specialist health adviser will be available to develop a personalised plan. The pilot project will run for a year and it will be evaluated to assess the impact it has made.