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Virgin Islanders urged to drink less alcohol for ‘Dry October’

Virgin Islanders urged to drink less alcohol for ‘Dry October’

Virgin Islanders are being urged to consume less alcohol, as part of the 2021 “Go Sober for October” initiative of the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

The territory-wide campaign is aiming to sensitise people of the harmful effects of the abuse of alcohol and to encourage people to drink less.

Public Health Nutritionist Ms Patrice Maduro, referencing a 2009 STEPS survey in a report from GIS, indicated that excessive consumption of alcohol is a major health risk and the behavior is occurring increasingly among the male population, with 50% consuming alcohol and 27% engaged in heavy episodic drinking.

“The abuse of alcohol is one of four modifiable risk factors contributing to non-communicable chronic diseases especially obesity, cancers, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and liver disease. There is also an association between learning difficulties, memory loss, poor mental health, and alcohol abuse,” she said.

Public Health Nutritionist Ms. Patrice Maduro referencing a 2009 STEPS survey in a report from GIS indicated that excessive consumption of alcohol is a major health risk and the behavior is occurring increasingly among the male population with 50% consuming alcohol and 27% engaged in heavy episodic drinking.


Benefits of being alcohol-free


Ms Maduro added that being alcohol-free for the month shows that persons do not need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or to socialise.

“It helps us learn the skills we need to manage our drinking. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about when we drink and how much, so we can avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.”

For the rest of October, persons are being urged to think about their alcohol consumption to take on the challenge to abstain from imbibing.

The campaign also has an accompanying ’TRY DRY’ app where persons can track and set their own custom goals to be alcohol-free.

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