Chemists hand out alcohol ‘scratch cards’

Pharmacies in Oxfordshire have taken a novel approach to teaching customers about drinking responsibly by handing out scratch cards to keep track of their consumption.

Playing a Scratch Ticket

In an effort to help people understand more about alcohol units of alcohol, Oxfordshire County Council has launched an interactive scratch card scheme in partnership with its local pharmacies.

The scratch cards are designed to find out about people’s drinking habits by posing a series of questions to inform the user if their drinking could be more than the recommended level.

Stuart Gale, owner of Frosts Pharmacies in Oxfordshire, said: “The scratch card is a great way of instigating conversation; in as little as 20 seconds you find that people are responding really positively and volunteering information about their drinking. It enables us to discuss their situation without challenging or being judgemental which is a really positive way of helping people get the advice and help they need.”

Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, cabinet member for public health, said: “During December we wanted to encourage responsible drinking during the festive season and now, as people consider making changes for a healthier 2014, we want to explain why alcohol endangers our health and what can be done to avoid the risks.

“Working with pharmacy staff provides a great opportunity to do just this; they are respected professionals and customers may be receptive as they wait for a prescription or seek advice on other matters.”

The current recommended alcohol guidelines for men is 3-4 units per day, and 2-3 units for women. 

One Response to “Chemists hand out alcohol ‘scratch cards’”

  1. Tom Gee says:

    What a brilliant idea. An interactive scratch card system to make individuals pay more attention to the alcohol they are consuming. I wonder if it will work!

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