Drink responsibly at Borders celebrations urge police and SBC

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ALTHOUGH not wanting to tarnish revellers’ celebrations, a working group of the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, Lothian and Borders Police and Scottish Borders Council is urging people to drink responsibly at local rugby sevens tournaments and Borders festivals this year.

The key message is that whilst these organisations want people to enjoy these annual events and have a good time, they are encouraging them to drink sensibly and consider the effects of drinking too much.

Paul Richardson from the Safer Communities Partnership at SBC explained: “Getting drunk should not be a pre requisite to having a good time.

“We are tackling drug and alcohol problems at a local level involving the statutory, voluntary and private sectors and engaging in the wider community. This is part of the Scottish Government’s Alcohol Strategy.”

Drinking alcohol is never going to be risk-free, but regularly going over the limit can have a negative impact on your overall health.

By making small changes to the way you drink, you can make a big difference to the way you feel now and to your long-term health.

Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, added: “Everyone by now is aware that bold action is needed to tackle Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol. The impact of our consumption is estimated to cost Scots £3.56 billion each year. That’s £900 for every adult.”

During April and May the rugby sevens are celebrated in 10 Border towns attracting visitors and locals. This is followed between June and August with traditional, historic ceremonies in many towns, including Duns Reivers Week and Coldstream Civic Week.

Excessive drinking impacts on the individual and on communities and a combination of interventions are required to reduce alcohol-related harm overall.

House fires, violent incidents, drinking and driving, antisocial behaviour and underperformance at work are often linked to people who drink too much.

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 has undergone an overhaul of licensing arrangements, and for the first time Licensees are required to ensure they have a responsibility to consider the health of the population under the specific objective ‘protecting and improving public health’ specifically within any planning arrangements for events.

Communities will be provided with information on how to drink more responsibly through posters which will be displayed within licensed premises during these events. Information on the risks of ‘legal highs’ and access to further supporting information on how to stay safe, will also be available.

Dr Eric Baijal, Joint Director of Public Health, added: “It is hard to understand how when we are celebrating the health and fitness of our local rugby players there is such a tendency to be irresponsible with alcohol.

“I urge the community to drink responsibly to ensure their immediate health and help improve their well-being in the future.”