Our bold goal is creating safe spaces where we live, learn, work and play which are free from the harm caused by alcohol and reduce the impact of this on our communities, particularly our tamariki.
We’re working towards reducing the harm caused by alcohol so that people have safer patterns of drinking behaviours, our environments support low-risk drinking, harmful drinking is not visible to our children and young people and community wellbeing and safety is enhanced.
Why is this important? Alcohol is the cause of more than 60 health conditions, including preventable chronic disease and for almost all of these conditions, heavier alcohol use means a higher risk of disease or injury. When alcohol is consumed regularly over time and/or in a pattern of heavy drinking sessions, it can cause a variety of health conditions. These include cancers and other conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, which can range from reversible to permanent liver damage due to alcohol.
For some people, alcohol is a regular or occasional drink enjoyed at social occasions that causes no apparent harm. However, even moderate drinking carries some risk.
Alcohol also has an undeniable impact on our tamariki and whānau. Children in families where an adult drinks heavily are known to be vulnerable to a variety of negative effects, including family harm.
Aside from alcohol contributing to health conditions, preventable chronic disease and family harm, it also contributes highly to road traffic injuries and other unintended injuries and falls. These injuries occur when someone has been drinking or is intoxicated or when someone is impacted by someone else’s drinking.
By changing alcohol behaviour, disrupting the alcohol system and creating environments which support low-risk drinking, we can make the greatest impact to reduce the harm caused by alcohol in our communities.
Credit: Healthy Families Hutt Valley
“We want all of Aotearoa to enjoy health promoting social and physical environments that enable healthy food and physical activity choices, being smokefree, reducing the harm from alcohol and increasing mental health resilience and wellbeing.”