Have fun, stay safe is message to party-goers

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HAVE Fun, Stay Safe – that’s the advice being given to people who are taking part in this year’s seasonal party celebrations.

The East Sussex Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) is working to encourage everyone to enjoy the festivities by remembering some top tips to help stay safe if they choose to go out and drink alcohol:

• Eat before drinking alcohol and drink soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks

• Never leave one of your friends alone and if someone has passed out call 999 at once

• Never feel pressured into having sex, but if you think you might have sex, carry and use a condom

• Plan how to get home and put money aside for a taxi

Councillor Bob Tidy, Lead Member for Community Services at East Sussex County Council, said, “With the Christmas party season upon us, for many, drinking will be part of having a good time.

“We are getting our message about drinking safely to as many people as possible including young people.

“We are also communicating our message to staff across the partnership so they can pass on the advice and stay safe themselves.”

To help raise awareness about alcohol the DAAT commissioned the Towner Art Gallery to work with young people and volunteers at a local alcohol treatment centre to produce an arty animation about alcohol and the effects it has.

The film was launched at a youth arts event in Bexhill during Alcohol Awareness Week, and will be shown at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne over the Christmas period. It is also available to watch on You Tube.

John Reading, chief executive of Action for Change, which provides alcohol advice and treatment services throughout the county, said, “Enjoy your alcohol, but try and take the longer view by starting later and pacing yourself.

“It is a good idea to keep your drink with you at all times and avoid buying rounds.”

Chief Superintendent Robin Smith who is also Alcohol Champion for East Sussex reinforces the ‘Have Fun, Stay Safe’ message.

“We’ll be carrying out a series of licensing initiatives to target drunkenness, under age drinking and drug misuse.

“We encourage people to drink sensibly and to enjoy their night out while, at the same time, being respectful to others and their surroundings.”

If you would like help, advice or information about alcohol, contact: Action for Change on 0300 111 2470 or visit www.action-for-change.org.