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Last Updated: Monday, 28 March, 2005, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Binge drinking dangers revealed
Craig Blackwell
Craig Blackwell's death left his relatives distraught
The devastating impact of binge drinking will be uncovered in a BBC Wales campaign aimed at encouraging sensible use of alcohol.

It explores how the binge drinking culture among the young has led to deaths and blighted lives.

One, Craig Blackwell, was just 27 when he died of alcohol poisoning after a drinking dare at a party in Wrexham.

His story is among those told in Binge Thinking on BBC1 Wales on Tuesday, as part of a week-long BBC Wales campaign.

Craig drank half a bottle of whisky and a half a bottle of vodka at the party, and was more than six times the drink-drive limit when he died.

His mother, Violet Watkins, speaks out in Binge Thinking, telling the story of Craig's death and the damage it has had on her family.

The documentary will also feature the story of Anna Lucas, from Cardiff, who was glassed in the face while enjoying a night out with friends.

Anna Lucas
Anna Lucas was glassed during a night out

A drunken attacker smashed a wine glass into her face.

The programme also tells the tale of Jason Taylor, from Seven Sisters near Neath, who suffered horrific facial injuries after losing control of his car. He was driving the morning after a binge drinking session.

The week-long campaign by BBC Wales follows a rise in binge drinking and anti-social behaviour among young people in Wales.

Known officially as Risky Single Occasion Drinking (RSOD), it has become a growing problem. In the 16 - 24 age group, 36% of men and 27% of women binge-drink at least once a week, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Fears have been expressed that this figure could rise in November when pubs and clubs which apply for special licenses will be allowed to open for 24 hours.

Jason Taylor
Jason Taylor suffered serious facial injuries

Campaign coordinator Huw Meredydd said: "The campaign is not about warning people not to drink - it's more about trying to encourage people to adopt better drinking habits in order to have a good night out.

"There are so many really simple things which everyone can do that will help them keep the alcohol under control.

"Things like eating before you go out, not drinking too quickly, sticking to one type of drink, even using soft drink spacers - after all, no one knows the difference between a lemonade with a lemon in it and a G and T.

"Another element of the campaign is to draw attention to some of the problems associated with binge drinking.

"Not only looking stupid, feeling ill and having hangovers but more serious consequences like increased likelihood of sexual assault, violence, unsafe sex, memory loss or even choking on your own vomit, which is why it's really important to look after your friends when you're out and make sure they look after you," he added.

The BBC Wales campaign aims to encourage people to adopt sensible drinking habits and kicks off with the documentary on Tuesday at 2235 BST.

A special information phone helpline is also being set up from Tuesday by CAIS (Cyngor Alcohol Information Service).

If you'd like help with any alcohol related problems, including binge drinking, please phone Alcohol Information Line Wales on 0845 06 121 121 National call rates apply.

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01 Feb 05 |  North West Wales
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16 Aug 04 |  North East Wales



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