NHS Grampian to pilot texts to drinkers25th May 2010
NHS Grampian is to send text messages to young drinkers in Scotland in a bid to halt the spread of STIs and prevent binge drinking.
Researchers will send out texts over the next year to people in their twenties in Aberdeen who are deemed to be dangerous drinkers. The drinkers will be sent a text every Friday in order to discourage them from drinking too much when they go out.
The researchers hope to involve more than 1,000 people in the 'Talking or Texting?' study and will try out three ways of intervening to stop binge drinking.
Apart from texts, the study will use leafleting and a short interview with a health worker to try and combat drinking.
Dr Steve Bagley, sexual health specialist at Aberdeen’s Woolmanhill Hospital, who is the head of the new study, said: "Binge drinking is very common among people who come to sexual health clinics and we found in one study that 50% were hazardous drinkers."
"Hazardous drinking – or binge drinking – is associated with poor sexual health: catching sexually transmitted infections, getting pregnant when you don't want to and being sexually assaulted."
Dr Bagley said the texts will tell drinkers to ‘take it easy’, ‘make sure it’s you making the decisions’, ‘eat before and while you drink’ and ‘use soft drink spacers’.
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