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Test Your Drinking Online

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-ALAC

TEST YOUR DRINKING ONLINE

You might think you don't drink any more than the friends you drink with. But how does your drinking compare with the rest of the population? Now you can find out by taking a personalised test on the Alcohol Advisory Council's website. And if you're worried or concerned about your drinking, there's on-screen follow-up and support.

"We believe this is a world first in terms of providing both a free test and follow up support on our website," says the Council's Manager Treatment Development Ian MacEwan.

Both Test Your Drinking; Want to Know More and Concerned About Your Drinking? are new additions to the Had Enough? section on the Council's website.

The test asks participants to answer 10 personalised questions - including age, sex, weight, how often they have a drink containing alcohol and the number of drinks on a typical day. The information is used to tailor the response directly to the individual because alcohol has a different effect on people depending on such factors.

Mr MacEwan says there are no "right' or "wrong" answers but the more honest the person is the more accurate the feedback will be.

Following the test, the person receives an on-screen personalised profile of where they fit within the New Zealand population in terms of drinking, along with information about alcohol and how it affects a person.

For some, says Mr MacEwan, this information will be sufficient. "But if a person is worried about their drinking, they can move on to Concerned About Your Drinking?"

This is designed to take them through a series of stages to help them think about managing their drinking differently and also offers an action plan.

"We know that nearly half the drinking population of New Zealand will get in serious difficulties at some time. Most people cut down themselves over time for various reasons - maturity being one major reason."

Of those people who become dependent on alcohol, only between 12 and 15 percent will seek professional help. "The rest manage in different ways on their own."

Mr MacEwan says the support offered on the website is an attempt to reach people who cannot or will not seek professional help.

While the site does not offer counselling, it does promote the Alcohol Helpline phone number as an important source of support and referral for people in difficulties.

The section is also backed up by a series of self-help booklets - which include the titles Is Your Drinking OK? Cutting Down and Stopping Drinking - all available free from the Alcohol Helpline.

Visit the Alcohol Advisory Council's website on www.alcohol.org.nz

Alcohol Helpline 0800 787 797

ENDS


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