Binge drinkers in injury alert

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WIGAN’S revellers are being warned about the dangers of over-indulging in alcohol over the festive period.

Alarming figures show that more than half of youngsters aged 18 to 24 surveyed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said they had suffered an injury as a result of drinking too much or partying too hard.

One in 10 people said they had broken a bone, while 15 per cent had suffered a head or facial injury.

A fifth of those injured were admitted to A&E and the most common injuries were bruising or cuts (43 per cent) and soft tissue injuries (20 per cent), which includes damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons.

And as well as affecting our long term health and leaving us exposed to accidents, the effects of drinking can also put us at serious risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Over-indulgence can also make people act totally out of character, leading for instance to acts of anti-social behaviour, drink driving or even violence.

Wigan Council has teamed up with the borough’s public health service to ensure residents enjoy a safe Christmas.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board and cabinet portfolio holder for healthier communities, said: “We recognise that most people enjoy alcohol safely and sociably and never come to either immediate or long term harm.

“However, there are still too many people who fail to realise the damage they are causing themselves by exposing themselves to serious long term health conditions.

“And alcohol misuse can also have a detrimental impact on families and communities, and is often a contributory factor to incidents of domestic abuse, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Wigan Council fully endorses any initiative which helps to reduce the harm caused by binge drinking on both the individual and the wider community.”

Dr Kate Ardern, director of public health in Wigan Borough, added: “We don’t want to spoil anybody’s fun but we urge people to look after their health and consider the long term implications.

“Try alternating alcohol with water or soft drinks. Whether you are at home or out, stay within the recommended drinking levels of 21 units for men and 14 for women and have at least two alcohol free nights a week. Eat before you go out and avoid buying drinks in rounds where the pressure is on to keep up with others.”

For extra support call Wigan and Leigh Alcohol Services on 0800 3894463.