AROUND 26,000 Solihull residents drink to a damaging level, according to council figures.
They also show almost 1,800 people in the borough are ‘dependent’ upon alcohol.
Solihull charities and politicians joined forces to stage events as part of Alcohol Awareness Week.
Solihull Council statistics show 26,000 of the borough’s residents will at some time drink alcohol in a way that could harm their health, their relationships with family, friends or their work, the data claims.
The National Drug Treatment Monitoring System told the Observer 803 people were given ‘structured support’ for alcohol-related problems in the last financial year in Solihull.
The Solihull Integrated Addiction Services (SIAS) alcohol awareness campaign was run in partnership with Alcohol Concern, Adfam (a substance abuse charity), and a number of other organisations.
The SIAS says it staged more than 400 conversations in Solihull about alcohol-related issues and safe-drinking levels.
A representative from the SIAS said: “All in all, the campaign has brought a fantastic response from local people, young and old, and we have had referrals into the service already as a direct result.
“We are hoping more will come through over the next few weeks and months and we will continue to monitor.”
Dame Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, said: “Recent statistics show that across the UK close to 600,000 people are dependent on alcohol, but that less than 20 per cent of those are taking steps to access support and treatment.
“Alcohol Awareness Week provides us with an opportunity to highlight the dangers of drinking too much alcohol too often and to signpost people to the excellent services that are available to local people through SIAS and its partners”.
Dame Caroline spoke at a campaign event held at the Three Trees Centre in Chelmsley Wood and joined Councillor Karen Grinsell, cabinet member for adult social care and health. The event was one of more than a dozen organised by the SIAS partnership during the week.
Coun Grinsell said: “People who are dependent on alcohol are not just statistics. They are our friends, family members and colleagues and it’s crucial we support our loved ones to seek help.
“Through SIAS and the great range of services we have in Solihull, we supported around 600 people last year to take their first step on the road to recovery.
“Please don’t be afraid to contact SIAS and get the confidential support that’s needed.”
To contact them, call 0121 301 4141 or email [email protected]