Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm 2020

This week, Tabor Group are recognising the 8th annual Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm. AWARH was initiated in 2013 by a group of like-minded organisations following three roundtable meetings on an integrated approach to alcohol-related harm.

During those meetings, the organisations agreed that an EU-level awareness raising campaign should be established to provide information on the detrimental effects associated with alcohol consumption. Many policymakers and healthcare organisations have since joined in to highlight the negative effects of alcohol and call for greater policy action to address the problems it can cause.

Alcohol & Cancer

This year’s theme is focusing on Alcohol and Cancer. It is proven that alcohol can cause cancer, with the risk of cancer steadily becoming greater the more volumes of alcohol consumed. However, many people are still unaware of the risk’s alcohol poses with certain cancers. The consumption of Alcohol can cause cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, bowel and female breast.

There is no safe threshold of alcohol consumption, with a risk of cancer being associated with even low to moderate consumption. That is where the Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm aims to increase awareness on these dangers.

Below are some key facts regarding alcohol and cancer with figures obtained from Alcohol Action Ireland and the Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm official website:

  • 900 people are diagnosed with alcohol-related cancers and around 500 people die from these diseases every year in Ireland
  • Between 2001 and 2010, 6.7% of male cancer deaths and 4.6% of female cancer deaths in Ireland were attributable to alcohol – 2,823 men and 1,700 women.
  • Over half of alcohol related cancers in Ireland are preventable by adhering to low-risk weekly guidelines for alcohol consumption.
  • Consumption of just one standard drink per day is associated with a 9% increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, compared to non-drinkers, while consuming 3 to 6 standard drinks per day increases the risk of breast cancer to 41%.
  • The cancer risks from alcohol are the same, regardless of the type of alcoholic beverage consumed (e.g. wine, beer or spirits).
  • 9 in 10 people are unaware that alcohol increases the risk of cancer
  • One fifth of the European population aged 15 and above are drinking in a harmful and hazardous way at least once a week
  • Harmful use of alcohol accounts for up to half of all liver cancer cases in Europe
  • Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Europe and one in ten cases of colorectal cancer is linked with alcohol consumption
  • In terms of cancer risk one bottle of wine (10cl alcohol) is equivalent to smoking 5 cigarettes for men, and 10 cigarettes for women

What can you do to support AWARH 2020?

Raising awareness is a key aim of this week, but the ultimate aim of the week is to highlight the need to tackle the signif­icant barriers to a comprehensive and cost-effective policy intervention. You can help support the cause by sending a letter to policymakers asking them to commit to do more against alcohol-related harm both in Ireland and in Europe. Secondly, you can support the campaign on social media by using the hashtag: #AWARH20

Tabor Group

If you, or someone you love, is struggling with addiction, get help. Tabor Group is a leading provider of residential addiction treatment services in Ireland. We provide support and care to hundreds of clients suffering from addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling and eating disorders. For more information on Tabor Group’s services, click here.