Project will tackle alcohol abuse issue

A ground-breaking project aimed at reducing alcohol abuse is being rolled out.

The Alcohol Behaviour Change scheme started as a pilot but due to its success is being rolled out to North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland.

The scheme – which aims to educate people on the impact of alcohol – is a partnership between Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), Northumbria Police, Turning Point, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service and Safe Newcastle.

Margaret Orange, NTW treatment effectiveness and governance manager (Addiction Services), said: “The scheme works a little like a driver awareness course.

“The purpose of the course is to reduce alcohol intake by educating people about the impact alcohol has on their behaviour and their health.

“Independent research showed that people who attended the course had a reoffending rate of just two per cent compared to five per cent among those who did not attend the course.

“There have been a significant number of people who have attended the course who had little understanding of the impact of alcohol on their health and wellbeing.

“This course has given them the opportunity to reflect, and when asked at the end of the course, it has been very encouraging to hear that many people say they will reduce their drinking as a result of what they have learnt.”