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Parents of young children among heavy drinkers.

Byline: TONY EARNSHAW @Examiner

ONE in 13 people with children in Calderdale are high-risk drinkers.

According to figures from the Health Survey for England, 8% of people in the area living in households with children aged under 16 are classified as being in the higher risk drinking group.

This includes women who drink more than 35 units a week and men who drink more than 50 units, much higher than the recommended guidelines of 14 units a week or less.

Drinking at this level could put people at risk of liver damage, as well as long-term increased risk of some types of cancer, stroke and heart disease.

Alan Walker of Alcohol Support Kirklees said statistics showed that five per cent of people worldwide have a drink problem or drink at very dangerous levels.

He said: "I don't have any practical evidence to show how much less people drink when they have children with them, though they might try. However if people drink to get away from perceived problems it would not matter who lives with them.

"My experience is that people can get into physical and mental problems if they have been drinking heavily for a long time. The age range is 40-45 for women and 50-55 for men and the health issues include high blood pressure, red skin, stomach ulcers and pancreatitis.

"Drinking is not a disease or illness. It is a lifestyle choice. People who drink have a strong belief that it works for them so they will be unwilling to give it up.

"Only when the consequences of drinking become greater than the benefits to be gained will they start to think about change."

The survey showed a further 20% of adults living in households with under 16s were increasing risk drinkers - women who drink more than 14 units but less than or equal to 35 units a week and men who drink more than 14 units but less than or equal to 50 units.

Those living in households with no under 16s were more likely to have higher risk drinking habits - 11% and slightly more likely to have increasing risk habits, 24% according to the figures from surveys between 2010 and 2015.

In Kirklees, 2% of those in households with under 16s were in the higher risk group, while 16% were in the increasing risk group, compared to 7% and 20% respectively for those in households without under 16s.

Across England, 17% of adults living in households with children aged under 16 were increasing risk drinkers, and 3% were higher risk drinkers.

In comparison, 22% of adults living in households without under 16s were increasing risk drinkers and 5% were higher risk drinkers.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 31, 2017
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