Drinking Problems

A conference was held at Winchester’s Discovery Centre on Wednesday, to discuss the impact of alcohol in the Hampshire area.

The conference brought together many local authorities such as emergency services and health experts. Also acting as keynote speaker was Alex Marshall, the newly appointed head of the Hampshire Constabulary.

Organisations such as ‘Winchester DRAG’ (Drug & Alcohol Awareness Group) and ‘Hampshire DAAT’ (Drug & Alcohol Action Team) are set to help in the conferences issues, and whilst Hampshire is considered safer than most other Counties, alcohol still remains a problem with crime.

Mike Webb, from Hampshire DAAT said: “The conference was one way to continue to raise the profile of work that needs to be done in the county to address this issue.” A hand – out produced by Mike also stated some alarming statistics about Winchester an Alcohol. For instance – ‘Within Hampshire, 52% of young people aged 11-18 drink alcohol.’ And – ‘Winchester prison has 10 times as many dependant drinkers as the general population’

Jill Guppy, Project Manager of Winchester Youth Counselling said: “Quite a few young people access our service for alcohol related issues”. Jill moved on to state that this is not just a recent problem in Winchester, “On average we will see approximately 30 young people per year with alcohol related issues.”

The Conference also highlighted event situations held within Winchester that involved a large consumption of alcohol, many student nights within the City, such as the upcoming ‘Stamina’ event involve ‘Pub Crawls’ and drinking games.

Chris Barnett, from the Stamina headquarters states on the Facebook group: “Stamina 7 is set to be the biggest student t-shirt bar crawl around Winchester – ever!” With this level of enthusiasm around student events, spreading alcohol awareness across Hampshire may be a more difficult process.

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