As new figures show a rise in UK liver disease, leading Midlands alcohol charity Aquarius is shining the light on the potential of financial stress as a factor in harmful drinking, as it asks the public: are you drinking this recession away?

As research shows that people drink more in economic downturns, Aquarius believe the theme of Alcohol Awareness Week 2012– ‘Let’s Talk About It’ – is the right opportunity to highlight potential causes of heavy drinking.

Further, with a continued tough financial climate, an increased amount of stress-related hospital admissions, and thousands of Midlanders already at immediate risk of developing an alcohol problem through hazardous drinking, Aquarius argues that the potential role of financial stress needs to be highlighted and discussed.

Sharon Mitchell, who delivers a Drive Course for convicted drink-drivers at Aquarius, sad: ‘If we are to tackle drinking-related diseases, we have to tackle the causes of that drinking in the first place. Many people on my courses had turned to drink due to financial problems and stress at home.’ Annette Fleming, Chief Executive, Aquarius, added: ‘Alcohol Awareness Week 2012 is an opportunity for the public to really start the conversation going about harmful drinking, its consequences, but its causes too. Considering and talking about the financial factor in drinking and drinking-related diseases has never been more opportune, more important or more relevant.’