Drinkcoach Pilot: Free online alcohol test and coaching sessions to help residents cut down their alcohol use
The London Borough of Waltham Forest have partnered with DrinkCoach to commission a new digital platform with access to free online appointments to help residents cut down their drinking.
DrinkCoach allows people to assess how risky their drinking is in a quick and confidential way by answering 10 simple questions. You will then receive personalised advice online. Access the local offer here: https://drinkcoach.org.uk/waltham-forest-alcohol-test
Many people enjoy alcohol responsibly; however it can also have a negative impact. The Department of Health estimate that 83% of people drinking above the recommended guidelines do not know they are putting their health at risk.
The Chief Medical Officer advises it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. For people regularly drinking as much as 14 units per week, it’s best to spread drinking evenly over three or more days.
The numbers of people accessing treatment for alcohol has declined but the number of alcohol related deaths continues to rise. Mark Holmes, Head of Innovation at DrinkCoach says that “unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma and shame experienced by drinkers that prevents them from accessing face to face support. DrinkCoach allows people to connect in a convenient, safe and confidential way and get the support they need”.
In Waltham Forest it is estimated that 5% of residents are drinking at dependent level. A recent survey found 68% of adults in the borough may be drinking above the NHS recommended limits. The council is hoping to reach people that wouldn’t otherwise present for support.
The website also directs residents towards CGL, the local substance misuse service if they score as increasing or high risk, who can support them with their individual needs. This support offer is also available to young people or family members affected by a parent or carer’s alcohol use. CGL is free and confidential to access. We hope this will encourage more people to access support when they need it.
Waltham Forest has also funded a limited number of free video calls with a DrinkCoach alcohol specialist for people scoring as increasing or higher risk. Use the code WFPROMO on the booking page Visit https://drinkcoach.org.uk for all the tools you need to track and change your drinking including a free app for your smartphone.