The ‘Know Your Score’ test is designed to help Kent residents drink more sensibly.
With Dry January well underway for many, locals are being advised to take the simple test to help them control their alcohol intake.
There are approximately 254,000 people in the county drinking at high risk levels, and an estimated 16,000 dependent drinkers in need of some treatment and support.
The campaign, led by the KCC, highlights the health risks that come with excessive alcohol consumption, including: High blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, liver disease and the increased chance of having a stroke.
KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, warns that many people are simply not aware of how much they are drinking.
He said: “The KCC ‘Know Your Score’ interactive online test which can help give some initial guidance by asking users a series of simple questions to help them gauge how much alcohol they are consuming and the effects it could have on their health, in both the short and long-term.
“Depending on their score, appropriate key messages and vital advice about where to find help are then delivered by different experts and health professionals.”
Specialist treatment services in the county can help those in serious risk of harm, and around 2,100 people were receiving support from them in 2018.
KCC Public Health commissions two providers – CGL in west Kent and Forward Trust in east Kent – to make the public aware of the potential consequences of misusing alcohol, and to offer individuals treatment in order to make healthy, informed decisions about their lives.
Communications manager for the The Forward Trust, Amy Williams, argues there is a lot of help on offer for Kent citizens.
She said: “The Forward Trust provides the community drug and alcohol service in East Kent. Our service is for anyone in the area who has issues with alcohol or drugs and wants support, no matter what their issues might be or their personal situation.
“Every location has a range of different treatment options for people, depending on their needs. These include group work, one-to-ones and counselling.”
The Forward Trust have recently launched a ‘new intervention’ called ‘Alcohol Pathway’ which is designed to tackle alcohol abuse through a ‘pre-detox’ week programme.
Amy explained: “The Pathway involves several stages: an intensive, group-based ‘pre-detox’ week; a medically assisted detox lasting five days; and relapse prevention support and linking in with local Alcoholics Anonymous fellowships.
The Forward Trust have also acknowledged the impact Dry January has had to raise awareness about alcohol abuse and dependency.
She added: “During both of the above campaigns, our services in East Kent run a series of informal coffee mornings in each of our Hubs for people who are worried about their drink. The mornings are advertised in local areas and people can drop in without an appointment and talk in confidence to a member of our team about their concerns.
“We hope that campaigns such as these are just the beginning of a better conversation, both nationally and regionally, about the dangers of alcohol and unhealthy levels of drinking.”
You can contact The Forward Trust for help on 0300 123 1186 or visit them on this website.