Castle Hedingham
01787 461 465

Sible Hedingham
01787 461 465

Be alcohol aware this festive season

Now the trees are up, and the Christmas jumpers are making an appearance, festive tipples have started to flow.

While we want you to have a Merry Christmas, The Castle Surgery with Essex County Council, want you to stay safe and healthy during this year’s festivities.

With over 300,000 Essex residents drinking at hazardous or harmful levels and almost four per cent of the county alcohol dependent we are urging residents to think before they drink this Christmas.

If you are waking up after another Christmas party with a hangover and are worried about your drinking, take a look at Essex County Council’s online tool, Don’t bottle it up (DBIU).

DBIU is an innovative alcohol screening, advice, intervention and referral website, leading the field of online alcohol interventions in the UK.

It enables people find out whether their drinking is risky, make a personalised plan to reduce their drinking, and find local support options.

To help you cut down on the egg-nog and mulled wine this Christmas we have teamed up with the Public Health team at Essex County Council and have put together these handy tips.

  1. Buy your own drinks
    It’s normal to drink in a round with your friends, but not only will this mean you’re rushing your pint to keep up with the fastest drinker of the group, but you’ll spend more money too. If you stick to buying your own drinks you’ll probably drink and spend less.
  2. Don’t go hungry
    When you drink on an empty stomach you’ll have no food to slow the absorption of alcohol.  Drinking often suppresses the feeling of hunger too. Make sure you’ve eaten enough during the day, and that you don’t skip lunch or dinner – it’ll absorb the alcohol more and even make you less tempted to snack on unhealthy takeaways at the end of the night.
  3. Have a lower-strength drink
    No one will even know if you order a lower strength alcohol, but it’ll make a difference to your alcohol intake. You’ll find the information on the bottle. Also think about ordering a smaller measure to your usual choice.
  4. Throw in some non-alcoholic drinks
    Alcohol dehydrates your body, so no matter how much you have you’ll never quench your thirst. Be sure to drink non-alcoholic drinks before and in-between alcoholic drinks, which will not only space out your drinking during the evening but make you feel better the next day.
  5. Make plans for the next morning
    If you’ve got someone relying on you the next morning then you’ll have a real reason not to drink too much. Plan in breakfast or an exercise session with a friend and don’t let them down. You could even use the money you saved from drinking less to treat yourself.

To take the alcohol test and for more information please visit

We are also supporting Essex Police’s Christmas dink & drug drive campaign, more info can be found here-