Launch of a new phone app to help reduce alcohol misuse

21/06/2017

A new phone App ‘Know Your Units’ has been launched at the Alcohol and You celebration event within the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) for a Big Lottery funded initiative involving the Trust, Addiction NI, ASCERT & Creative 3.

The app has been developed in partnership with Alcohol and You, Northern Ireland Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams (NIDACT’s) and supported by the Public Health Agency (PHA). The phone app is a unit checker, helping people understand units and to keep a watch on their drinking. The APP features a unit guide and a virtual bar where users can total up their planned or actual drinks for the day/night and check whether they are keeping within the Chief Medical Officers Alcohol Guidelines. The alcohol guidelines were released in January 2016 and state that “men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, spread over at least 3 days.

Those behind the development of the app believe it will be help the public understand the guidance and what it may mean for them. Ed Sipler from Health Development Department in South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust said: “Getting to know what a unit of alcohol is can be tricky to understand. The Chief Medical Officer changed the alcohol guidance last year as it is now known that even moderate drinking can be related to over 60 medical conditions. With the pressures on our Health Service preventing some of these problems will be a good thing for everyone.”

Kelly Gilliland, Health Improvement Manager at the Public Health Agency, said: “Many of us enjoy a drink from time to time, but alcohol is a powerful drug and drinking too much of it can seriously affect our health. Whether drinking at home or out in a bar or restaurant it can be easy to lose track of the amount of alcohol we consume. This app provides a fun and interactive way for people to learn more about their drinking behaviour and we hope it will help educate them on alcohol units so that they can make sensible choices and stay within the alcohol limits.”

To find out more about alcohol, or, to get help from a professional – either for yourself or someone you care for or are concerned about, visit www.drugsandalcoholni.info The App can be downloaded free at www.alcoholandyouni.com  or through Google Play or the App Store under Know Your Units.

Pictured left to right:  Henry McCrory (Creative 3 Media), Jacqui Henning (Alcohol & You Co-Ordinator, South Eastern HSC Trust), Kelly Gilliland and Danni Sinclair (Public Health Agency), Alison Armstrong (NIDACT), Chris McClenaghan (Creative 3 Media) and Ed Sipler (Health Development Specialist, South Eastern HSC Trust).