Health is Everyone's Business
Galway City Alcohol Survey Results
The results of a recent survey to assess behaviours, attitudes and awareness in relation to alcohol use in Galway City have been released. This survey of over 500 people (18 years and over) in Galway City has found that of those who drink (79%), over half (55%) were hazardous drinkers.
Fiona Donovan, Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE, who is a member of the Alcohol Forum explained that “the level of alcohol-related harm to individuals and to others is of particular concern with one in five (20%) reporting one or more harms due to their own drinking for example an accident, fight, problems in work, friendship, home-life; and one in four (25%) of all respondents reported experiencing one or more harms as a result of someone else’s drinking - family problems (15%) being the most common”.
Fiona Donovan added that; “although adults consider underage drinking as the number one problem in Galway City, worryingly many believe that it’s acceptable to give alcohol to 15-17 year olds at home. The survey showed that 18% of people think it is acceptable to give a child aged 15 alcohol at home and 44% believe it is acceptable to give a child aged 16 to 17 alcohol at home.
Evidence shows that the most effective policies to reduce alcohol-related harm include minimum pricing for alcohol, restricting its availability and reducing its promotion. It is very positive to note that 74% of survey respondents were in favour of a ban on alcohol advertising that appeals to young people; and 62% agreed that there should be a minimum price for alcohol below which it cannot be sold. The new Public Health Alcohol Bill contains these evidence-based measures.
The vast majority (85%) of respondents in Galway city agreed that health professionals should ask all patients about their drinking habits as standard practice, yet only one in four (24%) were asked about their drinking habits in past 2 years. This provides an opportunity for health professionals to open up a conversation with patients about their alcohol consumption.
Thanking all the people who took the time to take part in the survey, Ms. Donovan concluded that “this local perspective on alcohol behaviour and attitudes is valuable for focusing on preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm in Galway City. From a national perspective, the findings further highlight the need for the evidence based measures outlined in the new Public Health Alcohol Bill to be implemented to address the high levels of alcohol-related harm seen across all counties in Ireland.”
The survey was initiated by the Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum as part of the Galway Healthy Cities Project, and funded by Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE. For a copy of the results and more information on the strategy, visit www.galwayalcoholstrategy.ie or contact 091 737262
Health Promotion Services, HSE West,
2nd Floor, Clinical & Administration Building Block A,
Merlin Park Hospital, Galway
Tel: 091 737251