Top tips to keep merry without getting too merry this Christmas

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The festive period is a time of indulgence for many, and NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group is offering some top tips when it comes to drinking this Christmas.

The CCG is supporting Alcohol Concern’s theme ‘Change’, which launched last week as part of Alcohol Awareness Week.

Change is possible.

Visit the alcohol audit on Alcohol Concern, take the test and see if your consumption of alcohol is putting your health at risk and could lead to serious medical complications.

Ever wondered what your drinking adds up to in terms of £s or calories, find out here.

Change is happening.

Some simple steps will help curb the urge to over indulge and make those changes:

  • Beware of rounds - Drinking in rounds can be expensive and dangerous if it means keeping pace with the fastest drinker in your group and a nightmare if you’re trying to cut down on alcohol. Stay in control (and save cash) by opting for smaller rounds with only a couple of friends within your group or giving rounds a miss.
  • Eat up – Having a healthy meal before you go out, and snacks between drinks can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol and so helps you stay in control. With less alcohol inside you that greasy pizza or kebab will look a lot less appetising at chucking out time too.  
  • Track your drinking on the go - If you’re out and about use the free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Unitsapp on your smartphone to track the alcohol you’re drinking. It will help you stay within the low risk alcohol unit guidelines and stay on top of your night out.
  • Small is better - By having bottles of beer or halves instead of pints and choosing a smaller glass for your wine or spritzers/shandies will help keep that unit count down.
  • Make Space - Sipping a soft drink between alcoholic drinks slows down the rate of your drinking and means you’ll drink less over the course of the evening. If you’re out clubbing, take a bottle of water out with you on the dancefloor. Down the pub (or even at home)? Then go for a non-alcoholic mocktail, a premium soft drink, or a glass of water.

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If you are struggling with alcohol yourself, having access to the right help and advice can make the world of difference. You can find support at Alcohol Concern or to find local support available visit: https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/local-services.