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Every day, 20 people die as a result of their drinking. But alcohol harm is not inevitable.
Alcohol is a part of many of our lives. We use it for celebration, for comfort, to socialise, to wind down, to cope. We treat it differently to other drugs; it’s legal, socially acceptable, even encouraged.
Yet in the UK one person every hour dies as a result of alcohol. Alcohol harm – mental health problems, liver disease, one of seven forms of cancer, economic difficulties, and so much more – can affect any one of us, from any walk of life.
The harm doesn’t end with the individual; each of us who drinks too much is part of a family and a community who feel the effects too, whether through frequent use of emergency services, drink driving, violence or neglect.
We are not anti-alcohol; we are for alcohol change. We are for a future in which people drink as a conscious choice, not a default; where the issues which lead to alcohol problems – like poverty, mental health issues, homelessness – are addressed; where those of us who drink too much, and our loved ones, have access to high-quality support whenever we need it, without shame or stigma.
Legacies help us get closer to a world free from alcohol harm.