Stop talking about ‘wine o’clock

January 20th, 2020 by

Holly Whitaker on how women can stop drinking – and get happy

When Holly Whitaker looks back on the many nights that would disappear in a boozy haze, it wasn’t the anxiety and regret that made her realise she needed to get help for her drinking, but sheer exhaustion. “When I binged, I would close my eyes while I did it,” she says. “I was trying to not see how horrific it was. I would go through this process of scrubbing it away, then presenting myself to the world and pretending that nothing was wrong. Then I had this moment when I couldn’t not see it.”

Whitaker, now 40, details her own path to recovery in Quit Like a Woman, which is part examination of how patriarchy drives women to drink and part practical guide on how to tackle addiction. She credits Allen Carr’s manual The Easy Way to Control Alcohol with helping her break free aged 33, as well as therapy and meditation. Breathing exercises, using mantras, not drinking caffeine after noon, and getting at least seven hours of sleep are just some of the tips she recommends.

Rather than demanding that addicts go cold turkey and chastising them for slipping up, Tempest regards any lapses as part of the process. AA has been described as expecting total abstinence from its members, which Whitaker claims “creates too high a bar” and people end up feeling “helpless” and “defeated” if they fail to achieve this. A “stop doing it” approach, Whitaker believes, is “masculine-centric” and implies that if you do slip up “you are kind of stupid”. “In our model, it is about being trusted to make your own mistakes and to learn from them.” One thing is clear: women are drinking more than ever. British women were found to drink an average of three drinks (defined as 10g of alcohol) a day in a 2018 survey and were ranked eighth in the world for high levels of drinking.

Read the full story here.

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What will your drink cost this Christmas

December 16th, 2019 by

Who will you spend Christmas with? A Paramedic, a Firefighter or even a Police Officer?

This festive season, as many of us drink more than intended, and we’re urging you to think about how and who you could spend Christmas with.

The Safer Cornwall partnership festive safe drinking campaign “What Will Your Drink Cost?” is asking anyone out enjoying festivities over the coming weeks to drink sensibly while enjoying Cornwall and Christmas.

The campaign not only ask you to think how your evening might end and what the impact could be, but also how to drink sensibly busting some common drinking myths!

Raph is a specialist paramedic who explains why sticking to one type of alcohol doesn’t mean you can drink more.

Other myths include:

  • Having a tactical chunder doesn’t get rid of the effects of alcohol – as the alcohol will already be absorbed into your blood, and you could end up very drunk and needing to go to hopsital
  • Drinking coffee doesn’t sober you up, and it’s not a way to help you drive home. The coffee just masks the effect by making you feel less tired
  • Having a large meal before you go out doesn’t give you the ability to drink more, it just makes the alcohol hang around longer in your system and you could end up drinking too much and getting yourself more drunk
  • If you’ve had more than a couple the night before, you won’t be okay to drive the next morning, as it could take over 12 hours for the alcohol to leave your body and be safe to drive. You could end up losing your licence
  • Taking paracetamol before bed doesn’t help your hangover, it’s really bad for your kidneys and the effect wears off while you’re asleep. You’re better off taking them in the morning when you wake up.

Drinking too much can impact on our already stretched services such as the NHS and Police force. Those services will be more than happy to help if you really need it, but they don’t really want to spend time with you because you’ve had too much to drink.

Drinking more than normal can bring on a false sense of confidence. This can lead to bad choices or decisions, such as drink driving or getting into arguments and fights. In a few cases, this can lead to people ending up in hospital, losing their drivers licence, getting fined, being arrested, or having accidents which put themselves or other people in danger.

The Council and its partners hope everyone enjoys the festive season, go out and have fun but please drink sensibly, and to plan how you’ll get home safely.

We don’t want to be the Christmas Grinch and say that you shouldn’t drink at all, because we know that for most of us that’s not going to happen! What we’re asking is that people go out and have fun in a way that doesn’t impact on others, or potentially affect their own future.

Here’s Jez Bayes, our Alcohol Strategy Lead giving us some top tips to enjoy Cornwall and drink sensibly this festive season:

  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water
  • Keep an eye on your drink when out, and don’t get to the point where you wouldn’t notice if someone spiked you
  • Plan how you will get home – book a taxi in advance, organise a lift, or have a designated driver in your group
  • Don’t attempt to reason with people who have drunk too much

 

 

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Good News Story

December 6th, 2019 by

CJ was an alcohol client with Addaction 6 years ago. In November CJ and her family invited staff at Addaction to the cap and gowning awards at Truro Cathedral.

CJ studied hard for over 3 years to complete a Counselling Foundation Degree topped up to a BSc Hons Applied Social Science with Plymouth University.

CJ was a participant in a women’s group that was initially started in Falmouth and she went on to become the first female to facilitate this group.  CJ made a commitment to remain abstinent, become a volunteer and support women in recovery. She also worked part time mainly as an evening support worker at Chy and in various caring roles.

Staff at Addaction were very proud to watch her walk down the Cathedral with scroll in hand and a beautiful smile.

CJ has just completed an application to Addaction for a job. What an amazing woman.

 

 

 

 

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Festive Alcohol Messaging

December 5th, 2019 by

All this Autumn, Cornwall Public Health, Healthy Cornwall and Cornwall DAAT have been promoting the use of the ‘Drinks Meter’ app through our ‘One Too Many?’ campaign.

This will be promoted again within the 2019 ’What Will Your Drink Cost?’ festive messaging campaign, linking in with the Devon and Cornwall Police drink driving campaign.

In the first part of the campaign we have invited members of the public, especially people who feel that they are ‘normal’ drinkers, to make use of the self-monitoring ‘Drinks Meter’ app. This has been highlighted on our social media feeds, as well as on BBC Radio Cornwall.

As Christmas approaches we are going to use the “What will your drink cost?” campaign to post a series of short videos on social media.

These will focus on trusted groups of people who are involved in the safety and wellbeing of drinkers, such as Paramedics, A&E Nurses and Doctors, Police, and Fire fighters.

These people will bust common drinking myths, such as wrongly feeling that you are safe to drive early the next morning after a late drinking session, that walking home in the dark while drunk is safe, that coffee reduces the harmful impact of alcohol, that painkillers are a good idea when you’ve had lots of alcohol, and that being sick enables you to safely carry on drinking.

These video clips will be posted through December and into the New Year, and will also promote the Drinks Meter. This app which will help people to set themselves limits during the festive season, and to make sure they maintain or return to a sensible pattern in January.

 

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Bringing Alcohol Awareness to the Airwaves – 11th – 17th November 2019

November 26th, 2019 by

Jez Bayes, the Alcohol Strategy Lead for Safer Cornwall, brought Alcohol Awareness Week 2019 to the airwaves; visiting BBC Radio Cornwall and asking the listeners to think about their own relationship with alcohol.

As many as 1 in 3 people in the South West don’t realise that they drink too much, which can lead to other effects that people would not normally associate with alcohol; such as not sleeping well, feeling tired in the mornings, feeling stressed. Jez drew focus to the ‘one every night’ habit; often considered to be a culturally acceptable level of drinking.

Residents of Cornwall were invited to download the ‘Drink’s Meter’ smartphone app to help them become aware and monitor their own level of drinking. The app is available on the Google Play store or Apple App store and allows people to track exactly what and how much they have drunk throughout the week, calculating how many ‘drink’ calories have been consumed and how many ‘food’ calories that equates to. Users can also track how much money they have spent on alcohol.

The app goes on to advise users on how to develop healthier drinking by recommending, for example, having more days across the week without having alcohol.

Safer Cornwall promoted Alcohol Awareness week 2019 across social media; 56 people clicked on the featured link (https://www.healthycornwall.org.uk/onetoomany) to download the Drinks Meter app over the 7 days and we will continue to promote and share the link in the weeks leading up to the pending festivities.

 

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New commissioned street outreach response team

October 30th, 2019 by

Rough sleepers across Cornwall will receive outreach support thanks to Addaction and Cornwall Housing funded via Cornwall Council.

Addaction Cornwall, who currently provide drug and alcohol support in the area, has been awarded the Rough Sleepers Outreach Contract by Cornwall Housing.

As part of the project, Addaction outreach workers will be employed to engage and support some of Cornwall’s most vulnerable people currently living on the street. The project will run in partnership with the charity Homeless Link’s StreetLink service.

If a member of the public is concerned about someone sleeping rough they can send an alert to StreetLink through the mobile app, www.streetlink.org.uk, or by calling 0300 500 0914. The referral will be sent to Addaction Cornwall and an outreach worker will go to the location where the rough sleeper was seen at to engage and support them.

Outreach workers will develop personalised care plans for rough sleepers, supporting them into housing and treatment services. They will also carry the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone to extend harm reduction efforts.

Lynda Edward is the Multiple Complex Needs Manager at Addaction Cornwall and will be managing the service. Lynda said:

“We know that many people who are forced to sleep on the streets have multiple complex needs such as drug and alcohol and mental health issues. Often these people can struggle to engage with services so, rather than waiting for them to come to us, this project is about proactively engaging and supporting this group. outreach workers will provide a package of care focused on helping people get the personalised support they need. This could be accompanying them to a housing appointment, helping them access drug treatment or helping them with financial issues. All support will be centred around the needs of the individual.

“No one should have to sleep rough in Cornwall or anywhere else. We believe this dedicated service can help many people start to rebuild their lives.”

Nick Cross, Cornwall Housing Managing Director adds “We recognise the passion the Addaction team have to help people make changes and improve their lives. We look forward to bringing together the newly commissioned street outreach response team with our wider services to prevent and relieve homelessness in Cornwall.

“Over the last few years Cornwall Housing has worked to reduce the number of rough sleepers across the county. I have no doubt that with Addaction’s support we will be able to support the most vulnerable so no one needs to sleep rough in Cornwall.”

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Time Credits: a success story but what does the future hold?

October 16th, 2019 by

Impact and successes

Time Credits, commissioned by Cornwall Council has been delivered by Tempo since 2017.  The project helps to support vulnerable individuals with multiple needs to better engage with and contribute to their communities by earning credits through volunteering and spending them at the various spend opportunities that have been created across the county.

The first client group was made up of people with complex and multiple needs, including drug and alcohol problems or those experiencing issues with homelessness.  The idea being that if we could make it work for our most vulnerable individuals we could make it work for anyone.   The project started in Penzance so spend partners could be successfully recruited before rolling out to other areas.  Time Credits now work with those who have experienced Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and also with young people and has expanded across Cornwall.

This is the Cornwall Time credit that was co-produced with service users and agencies in Cornwall.  Individuals are awarded a time credit for each hour of volunteering.

 

This has been a very successful project, exceeding all targets.  There are now over 40 spend partners, including  Cornwall College, Merlin and WCT cinemas, Better Leisure; Hall for Cornwall and Flambards.  There are also 50 Earn partners/Community groups involved including Addaction, Harbour Housing, Newstart and other supported housing providers; DASV services and refuges; Young people services including the YOS and accommodation foyers.  There are 644 signed up members, which is almost 3 times more than the target of 235 people.

The Tempo National Impact on success states that:

  • 80% report improved quality of life
  • 63% feel more able to contributed to the community and other people
  • 59% share their skills with others
  • 57% feel less isolated and lonely
  • 55% develop new friends and acquaintances
  • 54% feel more positive about their future

 

One of our Earn Partners said the following:

“Supporting the residents to engage in voluntary work and being able to acknowledge and reward them is a massive boost to their confidence, self-esteem & well-being.”

Rachel Battleday, Cosgarne Hall

“Time Credits makes me more engaged and involved with STAK outings and has allowed me to try things and visit places I wouldn’t have been able to on my pension. It’s such a wonderful idea.”

St Austell Community Kitchen User

 

Moving forwards

The contract and funding for this very successful project is due to come to an end in March 2020.  It has achieved all targets; signed up almost 3 times the number of vulnerable individuals than expected.  It is now time for us to decide whether or not this project continues.

In November, a visioning day, is being planned in order to consider the options and agree the best way to progress.

 

 

 

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SW Peninsula Drug Related Death Conference

October 10th, 2019 by

On Friday 6th September the SW Peninsula Drug Related Death Conference was held at The China Fleet Club, Saltash, this being the 9th time this conference has been held.

This year proved to be the largest attendance of all the conferences held with over 170 delegates.

A full days program saw 9 plenary sessions being delivered by a total of 13 speakers. The subject matter was eclectic, informative and adduced from investigating the many drug related deaths that have happened over the last year. The learning and best practice coming from these investigations was expanded upon by experts in their field to the benefit of all delegates.

The tangible positive feel of this conference was evident in the refreshment breaks where many and varied practitioners exchanged thoughts, ideas and future networking opportunities. Below are some of the many positive feedback comments from across The Peninsula;

‘I hadn’t been particularly looking forward to it simply because the subject matter is never one that fills your heart with joy, but I really enjoyed the day.  However, it was only when I got home and was talking about all the various nuggets of information that had particularly caught my attention that I realised it was something from each of the speakers, and I realised how well it all fitted together and how much I’d picked up from them all’.

‘Many thanks for organising such an informative and social type event’.

‘I would definitely attend again as the information sharing is a great way of learning and getting to meet lots of different practitioners as well’

‘A fantastic day that really made me think, and think differently about how to change the system’.

‘Thank you for inviting so many mental health staff’

The conference will return in 2020 buoyed up by the optimism that delegates shared and their commitment to reduce drug related deaths despite the many pressures that there currently are on all agencies involved in this important work

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Community Safety & DAAT Training Programmes

October 3rd, 2019 by

Between the months of April and September, the following training courses have been delivered for Community Safety & Fire staff and services, including Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, Housing, Employment, Anti-Social Behaviour, Mental Health, Pharmacists & GPs and Drug & Alcohol treatment staff:

9x Alcohol Intervention & Brief Advice

A total of 154 people attended and completed the 3 hour Alcohol IBA session.

6x Basic Drug Awareness

A total of 92 people attended and completed the 1 day BDA course.

2x Community Hospital Alcohol Detoxification (CHAD) training

A total of 18 people attended and completed this course.

5x Connect 5 Stage 1-3 Mental Wellbeing training

A total of 29 people attended and completed the 3 stages of the Connect 5 course in the Isles of Scilly.

6x Dual Diagnosis courses

A total of 104 people attended and completed the 2 day Dual Diagnosis course.

The availability of this course has been opened up to the wider circulation!

1x Stress Management: Faster EFT Eutaptics Seminar

FEFT/Eutaptics is a system that looks at how our minds successfully create our problems and subsequently how we can work with the mind to change them.

A total of 57 people attended the evening seminar in June 2019.

11x Motivational Interviewing (general)

A total of 167 people attended and completed the 1 day general MI courses.

7x Young People’s Substance Awareness and Screening

A total of 50 people attended and completed the 1 day YP Screening course

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“One Too Many?”

October 2nd, 2019 by

An invitation to check the safety of your alcohol use.

“One Too Many?” is a new Cornwall Public Health campaign that promotes the use of the Drinks Meter App and website, through a dedicated ‘Healthy Cornwall’ web page: https://www.healthycornwall.org.uk/onetoomany that links to the App download site: https://bit.ly/2kUU7IP

Based on Cornwall’s alcohol related hospital admissions statistics, the target group is middle aged men, with the specific starting point being those who watch sport while having a beer or three.

As such, the Social Media and video messaging and visuals are geared towards that group, aiming to ask inviting questions that draw people to download the App and then assess their own intake level, and other alcohol related risk factors

If people then want to talk to a local service at any stage, based on their App feedback, Healthy Cornwall are ready and waiting. Any appropriate cases can also be referred to Addaction, the local alcohol treatment provider.

As time goes on, over the next 12 months this the campaign may broaden beyond this specific target group, with the next step up being Alcohol Awareness Week starting on November 11th, and the4n the festive Season and New Year period.

 

In the first couple of weeks of the campaign, which has had a deliberately slow start in order to make sure everything is set up and working, there have been over 70 clicks through to the App stores from these posts.

The campaign launch has also been backed up in a Cornwall Council Newsletter, and an article on the website, “7 Signs you might be drinking too much” (https://bit.ly/2lNCDOL) which also features the Cornwall Council ‘Safe Drinking Levels’ video: https://youtu.be/PikUdQbVKeo

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: