Graphic of Hashtag for Alcohol Awareness NI 2201

Alcohol Awareness NI Week

This week is Alcohol Awareness NI Week 2021.

It gives us all an opportunity to take a closer look at our drinking habits.

Assistant Director for Programmes and Interventions, Jill Grant states: “We have found that one of the biggest influences on whether someone will reoffend is their misuse of drugs & alcohol. Tackling this type of behaviour is a priority for Probation.”

Our Corporate Plan for 2020-23 shows Probation will focus on tackling drug/alcohol related offending; poor mental health; & build opportunities to enhance people’s education & employment opportunities.

Probation has found that Service Users can have complex needs and have unstable lifestyles. Out of the different factors that affect them, addiction to alcohol or drugs is the biggest factor on their behaviours. 76% of our service users have alcohol/drug related problems.

Probation Officers are very aware of the potential problems a service user can face if they are addicted to alcohol. Self-control, decision making, budgeting, relationships & emotional control are all affected by alcohol misuse.

Probation has a number of programmes & interventions including a substance misuse 1-1 intervention for those that have low level difficulties. Read more about this intervention online. Probation also works in partnership with the Courts through the Substance Misuse Court (SMC). Probation’s SMC team work with people who have addictions & provide support to help them break their addiction cycle.

One service user said: “Working with people who listen to my problems and helped me take a hard look at my drinking was the first step to getting off alcohol, the difference this time was I was ready to accept help. I know I have a long journey but I’m on my way.”

Another service user said: “I have been in the worst places imaginable because of drinking cider. My family didn’t want to know me and I ended up near dead after I moved into hostels. Until I looked at the real reasons I drank I would never have been able to come off it.”

Another service user said: “After having completed the Substance Misuse Court, I now have an insight into the triggers that lead to me drinking, so I can continue to avoid these situations. I know there is continued help and support available.”

Anyone struggling with their alcohol consumption can use the alcohol tracker on our Changing Lives app to monitor your intake. Simply choose the drink, how much has been drunk, and the percentage of alcohol contained to find out how many units has been consumed. The App can be downloaded Google Play or Apple’s Appstore

Find out more about Alcohol Awareness NI Week from Drugs and Alcohol NI