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People urged to watch alcohol intake over Festive Period

The impact of harmful drinking costs more than £400m a year in public funding in Staffordshire, it is estimated.

The estimate relates to issues like health, antisocial behaviour, work absenteeism and drink-driving.

Public health bosses at Staffordshire County Council are now urging people in the county to keep a check on their alcohol consumption over the Christmas/New Year period.

They are being urged to consider the impact it may have on their health, work and families.

Cabinet Support Member for Social and Health Care Mark Sutton said: "We don't want to be killjoys, but we do want to make sure that everyone in Staffordshire enjoys the festive season safely and sensibly.

"There is always the temptation to drink more over the holidays, so we are just asking people to keep an eye on how much they are drinking and consider their behaviour and how it might impact on family, friends and neighbours. By all means go ahead and enjoy yourself, but don't let drink ruin your Christmas."

Although most people in Staffordshire drink within safe limits, 47,000 are classed as being "higher risk" drinkers.

This means they drink more than 35 units a week if they are women, and more than 50 units a week if they are men.

Health experts recommend a maximum total of 21 units per week for men and 14 units per week for women.

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