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​Watch your drink and your friends this summer​​

Richmond Council and Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  are joining a London Ambulance campaign to encourage people to watch what they drink this summer and remember to look after their friends when out drinking, so they don't end their night in the back of an ambulance.

Last August, London Ambulance Service responded to over 6,650 alcohol-related incidents, making up seven per cent of all ambulance call outs for the month – more than in December's party season.  Whilst their crews were treating those patients – others, who are potentially seriously ill or injured, could be waiting for help.

To try and reduce the number of adults drinking to excess over the summer, London Ambulance, Richmond Council and Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are encouraging people to:

1)      Eat before drinking: Make sure you eat before you go out or start your night somewhere that serves meals or snacks. It'll provide more energy, and lessen your hangover the next day.

2)      Try pacing and spacing: Having a soft drink or some water between alcohol drinks slows the rate of your drinking.

3)      Drink smaller drinks: A large glass of wine in most bars is equivalent to a third of a bottle!

4)      Keep a check on how much you're drinking: The 'One You Drinks Tracker' will help you keep track of how much you are drinking and spending.

5)      Look after each other: Look after your friends and colleagues and make sure you know how you are getting home at the end of the night.

6)      Plan your journey home: Don't leave it to chance—think about how you're going to get home, and who with, before you go out. Make arrangements before you start drinking, and make sure you don't get left to walk home alone.

In addition, residents are encouraged to download ' Circle' a personal safety app which enables users to stay connected to friends and family, if they find themselves in a difficult or vulnerable situation.  Launched by London Councils, it aims to make it easy to stay safe and connected when out socialising. Users simply tap to check-in with friends, letting them know they are okay or if they need help. To download the free app, go to the App Store or Google Play, or go to: http://circle.london/

The Council's online drinks tracker is also available – the site aims to raise awareness of alcohol, health and safer drinking. Residents can use the site to help set goals to drink less, see how much they can save in cash and calories by reducing their drinking and find information about local support services. To see the Richmond DrinkChecker, go to: www.richmond.drinkchecker.org.uk

Cllr Mark Boyle, Richmond Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:

"This initiative is to encourage people to watch their drinking in the summer months and to watch out for their friends on nights out. We know that with the warmer weather and lighter evenings, people do tend to drink a little more than usual at picnics, barbecues, pub gardens and festivals. This is a reminder that it's not necessary to over indulge to have a good time. Last August over 6,000 people had one too many and ended up in an Ambulance!"

Dr Graham Lewis, Chair of Richmond CCG added:

"We are really pleased to be supporting this campaign which reminds people to take care when they are out enjoying themselves this summer. It's important that London ambulance colleagues are free to provide services to those who really need them."

 

For more information, or to see the London Ambulance Campaign video, go to: http://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/getting_involved/notanambulance.aspx