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Boozy Britain Dying (Less) Slowly

Boozy Britain ‘kills one person every hour’ – health guidelines issued

                                                     Published time: August 11, 2014 13:07                                                                                                     




Reuters/Eddie Keogh

Reuters/Eddie Keogh



Drinking alcohol on consecutive days will cause health conditions such as cancer, heart disease or cirrhosis of the liver, say Public Health England (PHE). Their latest guidelines recommend “one day on, one day off” drinking.

The soon to be released  PHE report will say drinking alcohol regularly can lead to health  problems in later life, even if an individual consumes just over  the “low risk” guideline – the equivalent of two pints for men.  Britons should abstain from alcohol if they have exceeded the  recommended daily allowance the day before – 2-3 units for women,  3-4 for men.

“Daily drinking is a key contributor to increased risk, so it  is possible that promoting a simple approach such as never  drinking two days in a row would have a positive impact,”   the report will state.

  Currently, the recommendation from the Chief Medical Officer is  that people should refrain from drinking on at least two days a  week. The new guidelines, however, suggest that three to four  days a week might be more sensible.

  Running for cover from the liquor lobby

  In a manifesto released on Monday, the All Parliamentary Party  Group (APPG) on Alcohol Misuse called on political parties to  effectively minimize alcohol related harm in the UK.

  The group, which promotes discussion of alcohol-related issues,  called for the strengthening of alcohol advertising regulations  and a phased ban on alcohol sponsorship, an increase in funding  for treatment and access levels for problem drinkers, and the  introduction of minimum unit pricing.

  There are also calls to make training in parental substance abuse  mandatory for all social workers and healthcare professionals,  and for national public awareness and behavior change campaigns  on alcohol to be independently funded.

  One person dies every hour and 1.2 million people are admitted to  hospital a year through alcohol problems. Lord Brooke of  Alverthorpe, vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on  Alcohol Misuse, said: “After smoking, alcohol is the second  biggest preventable killer. Not only does it cost lives but  burdens the NHS and the Criminal and Justice systems and others  with ever increasing costs.

“All the political parties know that, but they run for cover  when they are confronted by the drinks industry and its immensely  powerful lobby. These proposals give them another chance to  consider whether they really have the guts to take a different  line for the country’s wellbeing in the future.”

The UK is the addiction capital of Europe, with some of the  highest rates of opiate and alcohol dependency as well as a  worldwide hub for so-called ‘legal highs’. The addiction  crisis has caused the number of alcohol related hospital  admissions to double in a decade.

  A quarter of adults in the UK were found to drink to dangerous  levels, with one in 20 found to be “dependent drinkers.”   Liver disease is now one of the big killers in the UK alongside  heart disease, strokes and cancer.

“Alcohol misuse costs Britain £21 billion a year,” said  Jackie Ballard, Chief Executive of the charity Alcohol Concern.   “We need urgent action to tackle this and the significant  harmful effects alcohol misuse causes to individuals. I hope all  parties will read the manifesto and show a commitment to the  vital measures which it highlights.”

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