'I really hated the state I got myself in and the fact that I was not in control of my body and what I was doing.'
Eagar to address Britain’s drinking culture, twenty-year-old Jess Stoddard, who lives in Manchester, is concerned that too many young people feel pressurised into consuming more alcohol than they should be.
Her story was broadcast tonight on ITV Granada Reports.
Looking back on her year off before university she regrets how she got in to the habit of drinking heavily and regularly.
‘I was drinking to get drunk because I thought it was what everyone did,’ she says.
Jess's Fixers project is about highlighting the dangers of drinking too much alcohol and she hopes to encourage more young people to feel confident enough to say no to binge drinking.
She is worried that lots of young people are putting themselves in danger through excessive drinking.
‘Drinking huge amounts appears to be the social norm nowadays, that when you go out, you’re going to get absolutely plastered,’ she adds.
‘I could wake up and not remember how I got home, it was scary and embarrassing at the same time. So many risks, but that was me and that’s the scary thing, that when you’re drunk you’re unaware of it.’
Diane Hilton is from the charity Change, Grow, Live and works with young people with alcohol dependency. She is impressed with Jess and her message.
Appearing in the broadcast piece, Diane says: ‘The majority of young people go out to get intoxicated, the drink is the primary focus of what they’re doing.’
She warns that when young people get drunk, they are more likely to indulge in risky behaviour i.e. violence aggression, unprotected sex.
‘What Jess is saying is you can make a stand; You don’t have to drink and if you do drink you don’t have to drink to excess,' said Diane.
Through her project, Jess has been talking to students at local universities about the drinking culture that is predominant in young people’s lives and discovering many others feel pressurised into drinking too much.
Jess is optimistic that she can help change attitudes.
She adds: ‘I hope by talking openly about this, about my drinking, that I inspire other young people to not feel the pressure of drinking and not let it control their lives.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.