People are being encouraged to think about the cost of alcohol – financial and otherwise – as this year's Alcohol Awareness Week approaches.

The theme of this year's campaign, organised by the charity Alcohol Change and taking place from 3 to 9 July, is 'Alcohol and Cost', with people encouraged to consider the many implications associated with alcohol, like health problems, financial worries and family difficulties.

Alcohol Awareness Week provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the support available, Recovery Near You, the City of Wolverhampton Council and key partner organisations will be holding a series of events across the city, including providing free liver health checks and hepatitis C testing alongside general health and wellbeing advice throughout the week.

There will be support and advice sessions on:

  • Monday 3 July at Bilston Indoor Market from 8.30am to 4pm and Central Library from 10am to 2pm
  • Tuesday 4 July at Low Hill Community Centre from 9am to 5pm
  • Wednesday 5 July at Wolverhampton Market from 8.30am to 4pm and the Bob Jones Community Hub from 10am to 2pm
  • Sunday 9 July at the Cannock Road Gurdwara from 10am to 2pm and the Dudley Road Gurdwara, also from 10am to 2pm

Meanwhile, the Love Your Liver bus will be at Victoria Square on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 4pm and Queen Square on Thursday and Friday from 9am to 4pm. The Hep C bus will be at Victoria Square on Thursday and Friday from 10am to 4pm.

The week long campaign will culminate in an event at Queen Square on Saturday 8 July from noon to 6pm, featuring the Love Your Liver bus, information and advice stalls, live entertainment including dance and music performances, face painting and opportunities to make delicious alcohol free mocktails and smoothies.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "Many people like to drink alcohol from time to time, but it is important that we do so in moderation because the harm caused by alcohol affects millions of people every year, in the form of health problems, financial worries, relationship breakdown and family difficulties.

"It brings with it huge social costs too with the significant pressure it places on the NHS, the emergency services, police, and workplaces.

"The total social cost of alcohol to society is estimated to be at least £21 billion each year. Individuals also spend tens of thousands of pounds on average on alcohol over the course of a lifetime.

"But the personal costs are much starker, with alcohol death rates increasing to the highest rate since records began since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and millions more people suffering from worsened mental and physical health every day as a result of harmful drinking. Indeed, Wolverhampton has one of the highest alcohol specific mortality rates, so tackling the harms caused by alcohol are a crucial priority for the city.

"The good news is that cost of alcohol to individuals, our relationships, our families, and our stretched vital public services doesn’t have to be so high. We can all take steps to make a change, saving money and saving lives.

“If you are concerned about your drinking, or that of a family member or friend, please take this opportunity to find out about the help and support which is available from organisations in Wolverhampton."

Anyone who is concerned about their, or someone else's drinking, can get information, and support by contacting Wolverhampton's substance misuse service Recovery Near You. Visit the website at Recovery Near You or call 0300 200 2400 for adults and 0300 123 3360 for young people. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7  days a week. 

To find out more about Alcohol Awareness Week, please visit Alcohol Change UK.