The Real Truth about ALCOHOL

PLEASE NOTE – This blog is not telling you to stop drinking alcohol and it is not promoting alcohol. It is simply presenting some real Truths about this socially accepted drug.

When reading, please discern what you feel is your truth and if for any reason you do not agree – please click the x and move on.

What is the Real Raw and Uncut TRUTH ABOUT ALCOHOL?

Do we ALL know what alcohol is?
Do we know what alcohol does to our body?
Are we aware of what alcohol does to our mind?
Are we aware of the knock on effects of alcohol?
Are we aware that alcohol is a poison?

WHY did alcoholism in Britain become widespread in 18th century?
WHY did gin consumption reach 18 million gallons at that time in history?
WHY did the temperance movement in the 19th century promote the use of alcohol?
WHY did the illegal alcohol trade boom?
WHY was the prohibition of alcohol cancelled in 1933?

WHY is alcohol normal and accepted in society?
WHY is drinking alcohol viewed as sociable?
WHY is alcohol a socially accepted drug?

WHY are some people addicted to alcohol?
WHY do we have a ‘binge drinking culture’?
WHY are our youth into alcohol?

WHY are those who choose no alcohol the odd ones?
WHY do the words ALCOHOL and PARTY go together?
WHY do the words UNIVERSITY and ALCOHOL go together?
WHY is crime often related with alcohol?

WHY is alcohol linked to mental health?
WHY do we judge others who have an alcohol problem?

WHY is there a warning that pregnant women should not drink alcohol?
WHY are there studies relating to alcohol and domestic violence?
WHY is anger and aggression related to alcohol?

WHY is alcohol needed to celebrate a special occasion?
WHY is alcohol used to take the edge off life?
WHY is alcohol used to drown our sorrows?
WHY is alcohol used to keep us going?

WHY is it so hard to not drink alcohol?
WHY do we need alcohol to escape from life?
WHY do we not look so hot the next day, after a night of alcohol?

WHY do we always find a way to justify why we drink alcohol?
WHY do we have a strong need, a craving for alcohol?
WHY do we need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get high?
WHY are we unable to control and limit our alcohol intake at times?

WHY does our body have withdrawal symptoms when we come off alcohol?
WHY is alcohol linked to the liver?
WHY are we not learning that alcohol is part of a much more deeply rooted problem?
WHY are we not realising that alcohol addiction is actually an illness?

WHY is anxiety associated with alcohol?
WHY do we become agitated if we cannot get our alcohol?
WHY do some of us lose touch with reality when we drink excess alcohol?

WHY are we not educated about the real TRUTH about Alcohol at school?
WHY is excess alcohol more accepted during the Christmas season?
WHY is there alcohol overindulgence on New Year’s Eve?
WHY do many A&E staff have to take verbal and physical abuse from drunken patients? (1)

WHY is alcohol at the root of most domestic violence?
WHY is alcohol related to child abuse in many cases?
WHY is our relationship with alcohol destroying our true relationships?
WHY are alcohol rehabilitation centers so popular?

WHY do some of our celebrities end up in alcohol rehab?
WHY does alcohol addiction dominate all areas of our lives?
WHY do we hate the feeling of a ‘hangover’ only to repeat it again?

WHY are we being told to ‘drink responsibly’?
Who makes the laws about alcohol?
WHY did the UK pass the law for longer opening hours to serve alcohol?
Do those who make the law drink alcohol?

Who is funding our research about alcohol?
WHY does the alcohol industry make regular donations to political parties? (2)

Do we have enough research studies about the harmfull effects of alcohol?
Are we at the receiving end of someone who is addicted to alcohol?
Have we witnessed what happens to those who are dependent on alcohol?
Have we ever seen someone coming off alcohol addiction?

Are we affected when we watch our close ones on the alcohol abuse road?
Are we in denial because we have become addicted to alcohol?
Are we ashamed of our behaviour associated with alcohol consumption?
Are we aware that alcohol may be controlling us?

OK – we now have enough questions here that we should ALL be asking.

Let’s go to our reliable Concise Oxford English Dictionary to tell us the meaning of ALCOHOL.

A colourless volatile flammable liquid, which is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits, etc. Also called ETHANOL, ETHYL ALCOHOL. (3)

Let’s pretend we don’t know what ALL these words actually mean.

Volatile – liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse
Liable to display rapid changes of emotion

Flammable – easily set on fire

Intoxicate – of alcoholic drink or a drug cause (someone) to lose control of their faculties
Faculties – an inherent mental or physical power
Inherent – existing in something as a permanent or essential attribute

So let’s join the dots and keep it simple.

ALCOHOL is a substance that is quick to change and is unpredictable, especially for the worse.
It can easily set on fire and it also is fast at changing our emotions.
Alcohol can make us lose control mentally and physically.
That means in a short space of time at great speed, alcohol can change our natural state.

Let us dig a bit deeper and check out the other name for alcohol.

ETHANOL

A colorless volatile flammable liquid C2H5OH that is the intoxicating agent in liquors and is also used as a solvent and in fuel
Also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol. (4)

For the record Alcohol and Ethanol are the same.

National Institutes of Health
U.S. National Library of Medicine

So this is a government website and the kingpins of health information telling us this –

‘Ethanol is a clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in ALCOHOLIC BEVARAGES.

Alcohol is a volatile liquid prepared by fermentation of certain carbohydrates. Alcohol acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, a diuretic and a disinfectant.

Although the exact mechanism of CNS depression is unknown, alcohol may act by inhibiting the opening of calcium channels, mediated by the binding of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) to GABA-A receptors, or through inhibitory actions at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors. Alcohol inhibits the production of antidiuretic hormone, thereby producing diuresis that may lead to dehydration. This agent kills organisms by denaturing their proteins.’ (5)

Ethanol is used extensively as a solvent in the manufacture of varnishes and perfumes; as a preservative for biological specimens; in the preparation of essences and flavorings; in many medicines and drugs; as a disinfectant and in tinctures and as a fuel and gasoline additive. Many U.S. automobiles manufactured since 1998 have been equipped to enable them to run on a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

Denatured or industrial, alcohol is ethanol to which poisonous or nauseating substances have been added to prevent its use as a beverage.

Medically, ethanol is soporific, i.e., sleep-producing; although it is less toxic than the other alcohols, death usually occurs if the concentration of ethanol in the bloodstream exceeds about 5%. Behavioural changes, impairment of vision or unconsciousness occurs at lower concentrations. (6)

Hello – Lets just stop and press the pause button.
With our common sense hat on, can we get real here for one moment.

Ethanol is used as a disinfectant and it can also be used to run a car.
Is this telling us something when we choose to drink Ethanol, which is the other name for Alcohol?

Next

Could we agree that Alcohol is harmful by the simple fact that it affects our Central Nervous System? You don’t need a PhD in Anatomy and Physiology to know that this word CENTRAL tells us it is the Head Office of all our nerves, which has a complicated job to do.
Our CNS comprises of the brain and spinal cord.
Alcohol affects our central nervous system and there is no getting away from this fact.
That means the natural state of our brain is disturbed with this mind-altering substance.

This video gives you real people and real life stories so well worth watching.
http://www.drugfreeworld.org/real-life-stories/alcohol.html

‘Alcohol probably took twenty years of my life … ‘
‘Alcohol is a drug … it’s classed as a depressant’
Beer has 2 – 6% alcohol
Wine has 8 – 20% alcohol
Hard liquors (e.g. Vodka and Whiskey) have 40 – 50% alcohol

‘… I was probably 15 is where I started drinking at school. Putting it in a water bottle I would take Vodka or Gin, something clear that looks like water and I would just drink in class and pop mints in my mouth.’

‘Without having alcohol in me I could not function.’

‘I was consuming about 30 beers a day, a whole case of beer and three quarters of a gallon of light rum. I would essentially have that and black out every night.’

‘I could do nothing but drink 24/7, drink pass out, drink pass out.’

‘I would literally drink so much that I would shake if I did not have a drink.’

‘Alcohol had been in and out my body so much that it had tore away some of the lining of my oesophagus and blood was creeping in.’

The After Effects –

Short Term Memory
High Blood Pressure
Destroys your Internal Organs
Destroys Brain Functions
Destroys your Handwriting and Small Motor Skills
Liver Pains
Bone and Muscle Aches

‘Alcohol is the most slow to kill but it’s the most hideous form of death.’

‘Alcohol’s just as bad if not worse than heroin, barbiturates and anything else.’

‘It might seem fun at the beginning but after you get stuck in that lifestyle for years you realise how not fun it is, it’s terrifying.’

So here we have the real Truth about what alcohol can do to us.

At what point do we cross the line from the odd drink and having fun at the weekends, to alcohol taking over and dominating our life every single day?

Do we think that we are in control when we drink the odd glass?
Do we think we are the commanders of our life with alcohol in our system?
Do we like the fact that we say things we would never talk about when we are sober?

Are we aware that alcohol is a mind-altering drug?

Have we asked our liver recently how it feels about our alcohol consumption?

Could it be possible that alcohol was never designed for human consumption?

Could it be possible our body is trying to communicate something to us?
Could it be possible our body does have a unique intelligence?
Could it be possible that our body is showing us the harmfull effects of alcohol?
Could it be possible that we are accelerating the ageing process by drinking alcohol?

On that note – pay attention, as this is serious stuff.

Have you heard of the blood-brain barrier? (7)

For alcohol to cause intoxication, it must get into the brain.
When we consume alcohol it goes straight into our gastrointestinal tract and then enters the bloodstream. They call this process ‘absorption’. Once it is in our bloodstream, the alcohol reaches our heart and then it moves to our lungs and back to the heart. It is now being pumped through the arteries to ALL organs in the body.

Ethanol travels to the brain within the arteries that lie between the skull and the brain itself. These arteries branch out into capillaries, which get deep into the brain tissue. Most molecules cannot get easily into the brain because there is a blood-brain-barrier that protects the brain from substances that could potentially harm this precious organ.

There is no barrier for alcohol to protect the brain.

‘Alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) is a brain disorder caused by regularly drinking too much alcohol over several years. The term ARBD covers several different conditions including Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and alcoholic dementia. None of these is actually a dementia, but they may share similar symptoms.’ (8)

Alcohol crosses the blood-brain-barrier very easily due to its chemical characteristics.

‘Although the physical restrictions imposed by the blood-brain-barrier limit the delivery of drugs or toxins to the brain, other small lipophilic drugs can diffuse passively across the blood-brain-barrier including nicotine, marijuana and heroin.’ (7)

Hello – can we just stop and re-read this blood-brain-barrier stuff again.

Here we have our amazing human body trying to protect us so we do not harm it. This is HUGE. The intelligence of our body is such that it detects harmfull substances and will not allow them to pass through and affect our brain. We ALL KNOW that we need our brain to function.

So how intelligent are we if we choose to take substances that harm our brain?

How intelligent are we really if we are using alcohol to harm our body?

Who on earth thought about alcohol to by-pass the natural no-entry stop sign to the brain?

Is this serious enough that almost nothing can get past this defence thing called the ‘blood-brain-barrier’ but alcohol, nicotine and heroin can?

What is the real truth if alcohol can get past our natural gateway to the brain, which says NO to anything harmfull?

Have we bothered to educate our youth about this simple fact?
Have we stopped to even consider what this is saying to us?
Have we found a comfortable way to ignore this simple Truth?
Is our body telling us the Truth about Alcohol?

‘More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption.’ Excess alcohol raised the risk of developing more than 200 diseases.
Oleg Chestnov – World Health Organization expert on chronic disease and mental health. (9)

Is this serious enough for us to pay attention?
Here we have a top man in our World Health Organization spelling out to us that alcohol is seriously harmful. 

Next –

Did you know that alcohol affects our youth differently?
Adolescents are less sensitive to the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

The level of maturation of the adolescent brain, which is not complete until about the age of 24 means adolescents can typically drink more alcohol than adults before becoming sedated and lose co-ordination. However, they are more susceptible to memory loss and damage the hippocampus, which is the brain structure involved in learning and memory.

So here is a direct quote from The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, who are an International group of scientists with not just one but heaps of PhD’s telling us that –

‘There is extensive research to show that the earlier a person drinks alcohol in his/her life the more likely he/she will have an alcohol use disorder as an adult.

More specifically an adolescent who starts to drink alcohol before the age of 15 is 4 times more likely to develop addiction to alcohol as an adult compared to a person who starts to drink alcohol at the age of 21’. (10)

Hello – how many of us started drinking alcohol before the age of 15 or how many of us actually know of youngsters drinking before this age?

The truth is these adolescents are going to be our adult population soon and if the above statement is making any sense, then we are going to have an even bigger global issue with the poison we call alcohol.

Every state in the USA abides by the standard set in the Federal Uniform Drinking Age Act of 1984, which sets the minimum legal drinking age to 21. According to the Act, Federal government can withhold 10% of Federal funding of highways from any States that do not stop people under the age of 21 buying or publically possessing alcohol. However – ‘… State law varies on specifics about possession and exceptions to the law, such as allowing people under 21 to drink with their parents’. (11)

So this is not rocket science stuff.

There is a set minimum age of 21 and the law was made over 30 years ago.
In reality do we feel this is when our youth of today ‘officially’ start drinking?

We all live in the real world, so no point pretending that what is going on in our streets with alcohol and young people is what Federal Law is stating.

Could it be possible that ‘exceptions’ to the law may not always be in the best interests of the child or young adult?
Could it be possible that parents may themselves have an alcohol dependent issue?
Could it be possible that children can be exposed to alcohol at a young age as their parents have made it seem a ‘normal’ part of life?
Could it be possible that an Alcohol Law does not necessarily mean people follow it?
Could it be possible that if parents accept alcohol as sociable and ok, then so will their kids?

Have we been around High Schools, Colleges and Universities to see the drinking culture that is now a part of their student life?

Have we heard of the binge drinking culture?

We seem to champion the success of our children who are high achievers, but do we ever stop and ask How they got there or what quality they were choosing to live to get the straight A’s?

Binge drinking is the practice of consuming large quantities of alcohol in a single session.

Britain is among the worst countries in the world for binge drinking according to a report by the World Health Organization.

Experts said Britain’s place in the table was a “national tragedy.”
They also say that a “ladette culture” had taken grip on British teens with drunkenness reaching epidemic levels among young women and end-stage liver disease increasingly diagnosed among those in their 20s and 30s. (9)

Does this feel right in a modern first world country in the 21st century?
Have we all heard of ladette culture?

Cambridge English Dictionary tells us it means a young woman who drinks a lot of alcohol, uses rude language and behaves in a noisy way. (12)

How serious is our alcohol abuse problem if young women in their 20s and 30s are being diagnosed with end-stage liver disease?

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore is a leading expert on liver disease and a former President of the Royal College of Physicians. So let’s pay attention to what this man has to say to us.

“Liver disease is one of the biggest health issues the NHS is facing and cause of an increasing proportion of deaths. Most of the harm is being done behind closed doors at home, not on the streets on Saturday nights.” (1)

What is going on for our adolescent girls that they need to turn to excess alcohol?
What is going on with our modern day parenting that leads to this?
What is missing in society that the gap is being filling with alcohol abuse?
WHY are we not digging deeper and asking the WHY questions?
What age does this relationship with alcohol start with our youngsters?
WHY are things getting worse?

In 2015, binge drinking cost the UK Taxpayer £4.9 billion. This does not take into consideration the long-term costs of binge drinking, such as reduced productivity, lost employment and health problems. (13)

‘Alcohol is the single biggest factor in young men dying between the ages of 16 and 24, whether it be through accidents, suicide or violence.’ – Professor Sir Ian Gilmore (1)

Lives are being needlessly lost and even more ruined by ill health.

“Sadder still is that the Government knows what needs to be done to turn this bleak picture around, yet it continues to ignore the evidence.”
Emily Robinson, Deputy Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern.

“We found that worldwide about 16% of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking – often referred to as ‘binge-drinking’ which is the most harmfull to health.”
S. Saxena, Director for Mental Health and Substance Abuse
World Health Organization.

‘In the UK the percentage was almost twice as high with 28% of those aged 15 and over drinking as much.’ (9)

Is it time to listen to these important people who have first-hand experience of the devastating effects of alcohol?

Are we aware that Money is paid to the U.S. Congress by the alcohol industry?
There are plenty of charts and graphs and figures on this website http://www.opensecrets.org/industries./indus.php?cycle=2016&ind=N02

In 2015 a quick summary confirms the Beer, Wine & Liquor industry donations were $25,083,570 to Congress. (14)

Over $25 million dollars may not sound like much, but do we need to be asking, does this money in any way keep this industry making profit?

Could it be possible that the alcohol industry is not really about addressing the harmfull effects to human life?

The vast majority of alcohol industry donations (92%) went to The Liberal National Party (LNP), the party expected to win the 2015 State Election in Queensland, Australia.

‘It is well known that the alcohol industry has significant influence on policy development and implementation.’ (15)

Can we just join the dots and ask is this making sense?

Could it be possible that our governments do know what needs to be done but are choosing to support those who support them?

Could it be possible that governments are ignoring what needs to be done as Emily Robinson from Alcohol Concern says? (9)

About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. (16)

Drug Free World’s video on the Truth about Alcohol says –
‘They said if I got drunk I would be one of the guys. They lied’.

England (17)

64% of 17 year old boys drink alcohol on a weekly basis (2014)
48% of 17 year old girls drink alcohol on a weekly basis (2014) 

Australia

Australia is debating whether the problem is with their drinking culture or is the issue with societal norms around anti-social behaviour and interpersonal violence. Maybe they have a point that we appear to have acceptable norms for sober behaviour and we are somehow more relaxed when the same rules are measured when we are drunk. In other words’ some behaviours exhibited when intoxicated with alcohol are tolerated but the same behaviours would be inexcusable if sober. So this means a second set of social norms.

As a society, Australia reinforces a culture of camaraderie around getting drunk but do they stop to reflect the harmful side effects of alcohol abuse?

Alcohol has been recognised as Australia’s worst drug problem for more than 50 years by the Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education.

No other drug has come close to causing as much death, illness, violence and lost productivity as alcohol.

Yet for some reason it remains a blind spot in the national conversation.

One in five Australians over 14 years of age drink at levels that place them at a lifetime risk of alcohol-related disease or injury. (2)

This is mega serious and the million-dollar question as this article is suggesting is –
WHY is the government not establishing a national inquiry, summit or royal commission on the true harm caused by alcohol and ways that could reduce it?

Is an attempt to not show alcohol adverts in earlier timeslots reducing this huge problem?
Is introducing minimum unit pricing going to cut it really?
Is cracking down on alcohol advertising going to make the difference?

Is restricting the quantities our young people can buy, going to make this problem go away?

Is a chapel with a team of nurses and street pastors on Friday and Saturday nights going to reduce excess drinking?

Is a centre known as a ‘drunk tank’ led by an NHS clinical commissioning group for the festive season, which takes up to 10 patients, really going to change the huge problem we are facing? (1)

Have you heard of MAP in Ottawa?

The Managed Alcohol Program aims to change the drinking behaviour of inveterate addicts. (18)

Every hour alcoholics are given wine with 13% alcohol.
For the first pour at 7:30am most residents get a larger than average sized glass of wine;
On the hour up to 9:30pm.

The article states that ‘Lifelong alcoholics are an enormous drain on public resources.’

One client was in emergency departments 191 times in the six months before the MAP.
Another client says he used to drink all day and now he drinks just once every hour.

This program is of course controversial which is understandable.

What we need to be asking is – are the residents really stable and happy if we are pouring alcohol on the hour for 14 hours consistently every day?

Could it be possible that all these may just be a form of REDUCTIONISM?

In other words’ we have a super complex global alcohol issue and we are making it small.

By reducing it to initiatives that do not perhaps address the whole, we may not see the true change that is needed.

In case you haven’t noticed, things have got worse, so this confirms that our plots and plans thus far are failing us when it comes to alcohol.

Important Question – Has anyone done responsible research with anecdotal evidence, which is real life stuff that looks at the root cause of WHY people drink alcohol and why our youth are consuming this poison at younger ages than ever before?

Controlled conditions, double blind testing in a laboratory, because that is scientific based evidence means we don’t get the real life on the street stuff.

Could it be possible that we have enough intelligence to work out we have a global problem but we somehow lack the real intelligence of how to deal with it?

How advanced is our intelligence if we cannot stop a man-made poison from entering our brain and causing harm?

Are we addressing WHY people turn to alcohol in the first place?
Are we asking why drunk patients assault our paramedics?
Why does the level of abuse from some A&E patients require police intervention? 

Are we willing to look at WHY we need or use alcohol to erase what is going on in our life and in our world?

If you read about the alcohol related murder case of Thomas Kelly there was something going on for the teenager who with one punch, killed this young man. The offender had a behaviour pattern every time he drank alcohol and there was a direct correlation to what happened to him as a child. Read more on our Youth blog
http://simplelivingglobal.com/international-youth-day

The brother of Thomas Kelly suicided after 3 years of campaigning for the lock out law, simply because he was not able to cope with the hate towards him by the forces of those who were against the restrictions being placed, including no alcohol to be sold after certain hours.

We seem unable to join the dots between alcohol consumption and alcohol harm.

Australia

Alcohol-related harm costs more than $20,000,000,000 per year.
Alcohol misuse was the primary cause of over 150,000 hospital admissions in 2014. 

‘Individual politicians need to be strong-willed in this policy area because the powerful alcohol industry is a formidable lobbying group and close to the ear of government.’ (2)

So here we have it – confirmation that the government do receive donations from the alcohol industry and they are a strong powerful force.

Could it be possible that the strong-willed politician who stands up and says No can only do so to a point, because the quality they are living is not absolute? In other words’ they need their drink of alcohol and this means the strong powerful force of the industry is what wins.

Could it be possible that those making the laws need to look closely at how they are choosing to live?

Could it be possible that we the general public need to demand a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct that states our law-makers need to live a transparent life and we need to be certain they are going to be reviewed on a consistent and regular basis?

Could it be possible that those who hold the utmost integrity and decency in their own personal life and live that to the best of their ability are the role models we need as politicians?

Could it be possible that our government budgets will never be enough until we get to the root cause of WHY our youth need to drink alcohol?

Where is the responsibility of the media and that includes social media?

Do the media have a part to play when it comes to alcohol abuse?

Can we truly say it is responsible journalism, when we have reporters telling us about our celebrated sporting heroes recovering from all night benders or in handcuffs for wayward behaviour?

Why are we more interested in celebrity gossip about their alcohol misuse than asking WHY they might be drinking or have an addiction?

We all know many famous people over the years, where alcohol has led to their death.

WHY are so many high profile celebrities in and out of Rehab?
WHY is REHAB such big business?

Have we ever stopped and asked the question –

What is the real quality of a movie or a song where the artist is intoxicated?

What about the harm to not just the individual and their family, but to their community?

What about the BIG picture and the enormous burden on the health systems?
What about the other systems who are also taking the slack like criminal justice systems, welfare and social care systems?

Alcohol-related admissions put A&E departments under severe pressure.
Up to 3 in every 10 patients are estimated to attend the UK Accident & Emergency services because of alcohol – more at weekends.

If more people knew that if they got drunk they were going to be arrested, they wouldn’t drink in the first place.
Dr. Cliff Mann, President of the College of Emergency Medicine. (1)

The key is for people to take RESPONSIBILITY before the emergency services become involved.
Dr. Katherine Henderson, A&E Consultant at St. Thomas’ Hospital, London and Registrar at the College of Emergency Medicine. (1)

Our 24/7 world means we can get hold of alcohol really at any time and by pass our country laws with the illicit and illegal trading of alcohol that continues in our underworld.

WHY is Real education about alcohol not on the agenda?
WHY are the harmfull effects of alcohol not on billboards everywhere?
WHY are our media not reporting on the dangers of alcohol every single day?
WHY is alcohol abuse not making news headlines on front pages daily?
WHY are we waiting for more science based evidence when we know what alcohol is doing to us?
WHY have we accepted alcohol when we do really know it is a poison?
WHY would anyone want to drink poison if they were of right mind?

Here is a quick laser look at a woman who done a runner from the UK because of the binge-drinking culture. (19)

‘I felt something was wrong with the equation
Wine = Fun
Alcohol = Relaxation’

Why do we need to drink before going to a concert?
Where is the ‘fun’ in not remembering anything the next day?
Why did friends living in London lose their English boyfriends to alcohol?
Do I want to raise my kids where a queue of teenagers’ pay their older friends to get them booze because they are so desperate and aren’t able to buy bottles themselves?

‘These questions haunted me as I met drunk people of all ages on the tube, at work events or queuing up to get into a club on a Saturday night.’

‘Why do people need to drink so much to cope with their lives?
Why are pubs so crowded at 6pm everyday with people drinking in one evening amounts of beer that in Italy would be served in a week?
How much of the crime on the streets of the UK was due to binge drinking?’

Next –

Alcohol is now recognised as the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disorders in the United States. Each year thousands of children are born with life-long disabilities because they were exposed to alcohol prenatally. (20)

HELLO AGAIN – Please STOP and RE-READ.

What is this telling us?

Is it spelling out to us that this can be prevented?
Is this saying our choice to drink alcohol during pregnancy is ok?
Are we ready to ask WHERE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY?

Are we going to point the finger and Blame?

Are we aware that society is deeply affected by all those children born with life-long disabilities?
Do we understand certain birth defects do not have to happen if alcohol was not consumed?

Would it be true to say that no mother in her right mind would drink alcohol knowing how harmful it is to her baby?

Is education needed here or is there something more?

Are we going to the root cause of WHY our women turn to alcohol during pregnancy?
Are we addressing the real problem here?

If you would like to know more about why drinking alcohol during pregnancy can be harmfull to the developing baby which includes the brain, please read this module which covers concepts in biology, chemistry and math. You will learn about how alcohol affects the fetus and the physical and/or neurological/behavioural problems resulting in FASD – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership (APEP)
https://sites.duke.edu/apep/module-5-alcohol-and-babies

Effects of Alcohol on the Body (21)

Brain – alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and this can affect the way that the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change a person’s mood and behavior, making it harder for us to think clearly and move with co-ordination.

Heart – drinking a lot of alcohol over time or in one go can damage our heart causing
Cardiomyopathy – stretching and drooping of the heart muscle
Arrhythmias – an irregular heart beat
Stroke
High Blood Pressure

Liver – Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver and can lead to a number of problems including
Liver inflammations
Steatosis or Fatty Liver
Alcoholic Hepatitis
Fibrosis
Cirrhosis

Pancreas – alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Cancer – drinking alcohol increases our risk of developing certain cancers including cancer of
Mouth
Oesophagus
Throat
Liver
Breast

Immune System – drinking too much can weaken our immune system, making our body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more likely to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who are not classed as chronic drinkers.

Is our body trying to communicate something to us?
Does our body have its own intelligence?
Is our body giving us messages about how it is feeling?

It would be true to say that we were not born to acquire a taste for alcohol.
Something happens. Something is triggered inside us and we feel something.
We then make a choice to go to alcohol.

At no point do we ever think or consider learning about the harmfull effects of alcohol.
WHY?
We know that alcohol education is not on our school agenda.
We see others all around us drinking alcohol so we assume it must be normal.

We see our role models happy on alcohol so it has to be ok.
We grow up with parents who are intoxicated with liquor so it is what we are used to.
We may not have the impulse to check what Google has to say about alcohol.

We did not have access to blogs like this to inform us and get us asking questions.

Could it be possible we feel more comfortable to just fit in with the crowd as it seems easier than to be the odd one out by not drinking alcohol?

Brief news headlines – Metro London newspaper
Booze on tap in care homes pub  

This is one of many care homes hoping the familiar setting will comfort residents suffering from dementia. Residents can drink whatever they want, depending on their medication.

Are we taking responsibility here for their true health and well-being?

There is a tendency to blame every drinker for their predicament, but there are 1.5 million people in the UK dependent on or addicted to alcohol – which is an illness.

Alcohol may be legal but it is a drug of dependence and how we use it is a huge issue affecting society. 

A study by researchers in Switzerland has found that beer drinking made it easier for volunteers to view explicit sexual images, and the effect was greater for women than for men. (22)

Could it be possible that the solutions we have may not fix the long-term problem?
Could it be possible that if we stop cheap booze, people will find another way?

Could it be possible that this will drive those who need alcohol to the illicit market?
Could it be possible that like drugs there is already an underworld, doing big business?

Could it be possible that with all the good will in the world and all the medical experts giving us the answers and all the research studies telling us alcohol is harmfull it is still not going to deal with WHY we need alcohol in the first place?

Are our solutions the answer or could there be more?
Are our initiatives to tackle this problem not cutting it?
Are our rehab programmes not addressing the root cause?
Are we missing something?
Is there another way to make a U turn with alcohol abuse?
Is there a simple answer? 

How is it that ‘society accepts drinking alcohol as sociable and normal and yet we All know it is a scientific proven poison?’ – Bina Pattel

‘Are we waiting for society to tell us what to do or are we going to ask our bodies what is needed?’ – Bina Pattel (23)

Finally for the record, as the author of this blog I am no halo head trying to preach or teach the readers’ anything. Once upon a time I liked champagne with my lemonade budget.

Work hard and play hard meant alcohol after work and weekends.

Wine was good but I preferred bubble stuff so cold beer or lager would be ok but one or two and I was bloated. Talking nonsense and not remembering everything the next day was part of life and totally acceptable. At no point did I even consider that I liked the instant sugar fix I got because I was simply exhausted and depleted. I never gave it a thought that alcohol supported me to numb out the pain and hurt that remained buried until I got off alcohol and started dealing with my issues.

Today alcohol is not in my radar and there is nothing on earth that would make me even want to drink what I know is a scientific proven poison. What I have is a deep understanding of WHY people need alcohol, use alcohol and the relationship that we have with alcohol. I have no judgement on those who consume this drug because I have a deep understanding of what I feel is the root cause.

There is a load more we could write about alcohol, but this is enough.

We can choose to look at it anyway we want to suit us but there is no getting away from the fact that alcohol is a huge global problem and we ALL need to be aware of the dangers associated with this drug.

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption.
The idea that drinking small amounts of alcohol will do you no harm is a myth.
Professor David Nutt. (24)

References

(1) Whitehead, S. (2015, January 2). Alcohol and A & E: Should Drunk People Be Kept Out of Hospital?
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/02/alcohol-accident-emergency-keep-drunk-people-out-of-hospital

(2) Mc Donald, P. (2015, April 16). Alcohol is the Only Drug Epidemic We’ve Got. Where’s the National Taskforce on That?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/16/alcohol-is-the-only-drug-epidemic-weve-got-wheres-the-national-taskforce-on-that

(3) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011

(4) (n.d). Merriam-Webster Dictionary
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethanol

(5) (2004, September 16). Pubchem. National Center for Biotechnology Information
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/ethanol#section=Top

(6) (2012). Infoplease
http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/science/ethanol-uses.html

(7) (n.d). Content: Getting Alcohol to the Brain: Crossing the Blood-Brain-Barrier. The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership
https://sites.duke.edu/apep/module-2-the-abcs-of-intoxication/content-getting-alcohol-to-the-brain-crossing-the-blood-brain-barrier

(8) (2016). What is Alcohol-Related Brain Damage? Alzheimer’s Society
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=98

(9) Donnelly, L. & Gallagher, S. (2014, May 13). Britain’s Binge Drinking Levels Are Among the Highest in the World
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10825449/Britains-binge-drinking-levels-are-among-the-highest-in-the-world.html

(10) (n.d). Content: Alcohol Affects Adolescents and Adults Differently. The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership
https://sites.duke.edu/apep/module-3-alcohol-cell-suicide-and-the-adolescent-brain/content-alcohol-affects-adolescents-and-adults-differently

(11) Alcohol Policy. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)
https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohol-policy

(12) (n.d). Cambridge Dictionary
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ladette

(13) (2015, March 31). Binge Drinking ‘Costing UK Taxpayers £4.9bn’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32126518

(14) Industry Profile: Summary, 2015. Beer, Wine & Liquor. OpenSecrets.org
https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?id=N02

(15) (2015, January 23). Alcohol Industry Donations to Queensland Political Parties: 2011-12 to 2013-14. Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education (fare)
http://fare.org.au/2015/01/alcohol-industry-donations-to-queensland-political-parties-2011-12-to-2013-14/

(16) (2006 – 2016). What Is Binge Drinking? Drugfreeworld.org
http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol/what-is-binge-drinking.html

(17) Prevalence of Underage Drinking. Institute of Alcohol Studies
http://www.ias.org.uk/Alcohol-knowledge-centre/Underage-drinking/Factsheets/Prevalence-of-underage-drinking.aspx

(18) Pressly, L. (2016, July 7). Treating Alcoholics – With Wine
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36717557

(19) Coppolaro – Nowell, A. (2015, April 8). Binge Drinking Drove Me Out of Britain
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/08/binge-drinking-drove-me-out-of-britain

(20) (2016, September 7). September 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)
https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/news-events/news-noteworthy/september-9-international-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorders-awareness-day

(21) (n.d). Alcohol’s Effects on the Body. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)
https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body

(22) Press Association. (2016, September 19). Beer Goggles: Study Confirms (the Obvious) that Drinking Removes Shyness About Sex
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/19/beer-goggles-study-confirms-the-obvious-that-drinking-removes-shyness-about-sex

(23) Pattel, B. (2016, March 8). Books by Serge Benhayon. The Truth about Serge Benhayon
https://truthaboutsergebenhayon.com/2016/03/08/books-by-serge-benhayon/#more-5438

(24) Nutt, D. (2011, March 7). There is No Such Thing as a Safe Level of Alcohol Consumption
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/mar/07/safe-level-alcohol-consumption

 

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Comments 98

  1. If alcohol suddenly disappeared from the Earth we may start to feel, look at and deal with the reasons we have been allowing it to be part of our human existence for so long…

    It is worth taking the time to look at alcohol and why we choose drink it at all and why we accept it as part of our society…

    …because it is not the ‘friend’ we have been acting like it is or or pretending it to be, because it is not going to fix, solve or change ANY of the problems we may drink it for.

    What I have learned in my life is that alcohol consumed for any reason is not benign and does not offer any true help at all.

    1. Great comment Jo Elmer and you make some valid points. Ask anyone who has come off the alcohol road for whatever reason and they would agree with all that you are saying.
      Alcohol is a poison so how on earth can it be socially acceptable?

      As Professor David Nutt has clearly stated there really is no safe level when it comes to alcohol consumption and to even contemplate or think otherwise is doing a great dis-service to our body.

      As you say Jo it is worth us all taking the time and asking the WHY questions –
      Why do we choose to drink alcohol?
      Why is it Accepted as part of our society?

      It is time we all started asking questions about what is going on and why we have come to accept so many things in this world that actually harm our human body.

  2. I’d never heard of the Blood Brain barrier before reading this blog. Whilst reading I kept asking ‘When I drank alcohol would I have realised the harm that I was doing to myself by reading these startling facts?’ It certainly would have made me think twice about what I was doing. Sadly it was only until I felt the harm in my body from drinking alcohol that I realised that what I was doing just did not make sense. By then I’d been drinking alcohol for nearly 30 years. What I love about this blog and all of the blogs on this website are that there’s always an understanding tone. Understanding for why we behave the way that we do including understanding for harming behaviours like drinking alcohol and taking drugs. One thing that I know is that when we have understanding change is inevitable. Thank you Simple Living Global for another stupendous awareness raising blog.

    1. What you are saying here makes sense Shevon Simon.
      If we were educated about the blood brain barrier and had access to blogs like this which just present some facts and keep it simple then we have a chance.
      A chance for real change.
      Inform our youth and lets not give up on the adults. Once people get to feel and know what there is to know about alcohol and other drugs then they have a choice.
      If we are to make any change there has to be education with UNDERSTANDING as you say. No point reacting or pointing the finger in judgement. That will never change anything.

    2. Yes, Shevon, the understanding in these blogs is key when, despite out “intelligent mind”, we are all doing things that harm our bodies. To make any lasting change we need to bring in true understanding.

      Like you I have also found that “…when we have understanding change is inevitable.”

  3. When I was at university, nearly twenty years ago, binge drinking was what we all did on a Thursday night and on the weekends. There were times that I drank so much that I vomited and even passed out – up to this day remembering nothing. At the time it just seemed like the thing to do and no matter how many times I lay on my bed after a night out just spinning, it never stopped me drinking again the next time and I didn’t reduce my intake either. At the time my view was more one of failure, of not being able to keep up with the amounts my friends’ drank. Today I have no problem saying that I no longer drink and the reasons why, as my body feels so much better without it. I no longer need alcohol to feel alive or to engage with people as I feel a sense of natural JOY everyday and so there’s no longer any need.

    1. Like Shevon, one time of alcohol poisoning was not enough for me to say “never again” and then actually not ever taking a chance on feeling like that again.

      “I have a good idea, lets get drunk.” … this thought used to ‘pop into my head’ now and then and about once a year, wanting to escape, I would fall for it and binge drink until I was way “gone” and made myself violently and often dangerously ill.

      My first binge drink: Our ski coach took the high school team to a ski race famous (should be infamous but it is still admired…) ski race where free kegs of beer were offered along the trail and at the end party… I was 14, we helped ourselves to all we could hold an more…

      Responsible, loving role models anyone? Isn’t it time we become those role models?

  4. Considering that so many celebrities have drug and alcohol problems it does lead us to ask ‘Why do they need it?’ Celebrities are hailed as having it all – having all of the money to buy whatever they like and having people look up to them and often worshipping them. So if this is the lifestyle to aspire to and they have it all, why would they need to harm themselves with drugs and alcohol? We know so many celebrities that have died as a result of both – is it time to question who and what we are making famous and why? Could the fame be a part of the problem?

    1. Super top comment here Shevon about why are we seeing our celebrities as role models when they are harming themselves with drugs and alcohol?
      We need to start asking questions what is going on for them that takes them to drink poison and Why are we choosing to ignore this when most of us know they are performing with this altered state of mind?
      Thank you for your questions here – there is much for humanity to start pondering on.

    2. I have experienced this celebrity phenomenon first hand. My Dad was a professional footballer in our town and somewhat of a local celebrity. Everywhere we went, people knew him and wanted to talk to him.

      It must have been strange having that sort of attention. Feeling like people were watching you. Everyone wanting to buy you a drink.

      Perhaps it brought an unwanted pressure, because the alcohol became a thing. As we have seen with a number of high profile football players over the years, there is a reliance and a downward spiral.

      Why does that happen? You are famous. You have money. Everyone loves you. Why does alcohol become a thing? What does it give you?

      A boost of confidence at first, perhaps. More animated expression. An edge off your anxiety. Some off time from the pressure and worry. A reward. Comfort.

      Watching it all though, it’s clear how it weakens you inside.

      It weakens you physically: your face and body change, your skin gets thinner and the colour changes, your hands shake during the day, you hunch a little, you sleep lighter and wake in the night.

      It weakens you emotionally: your moods are more up and down, things affect you more easily, you think less clearly, become less wise, less patient and less passionate about life, you start caring less.

      It undermines your confidence in being social without it. Like you forget how to be you.

      What is there here for us to see? For us everyday Joes in our own experiences and as we look out at the celebrities on TV?

  5. Reading this blog and the blood brain barrier and then reading your blog on Amphetamines http://simplelivingglobal.com/the-raw-truth-about-amphetamines/, where you speak of first pass metabolism, it tells me that as a human race we are trying in every way possible to ruin the human body through the use of substances. Reading these blogs and your questions it makes me as one reader ask – Why do we put so much effort into harming the human body? As it is such an intelligent vehicle, if we listen to it. Is there something there that we are deliberately silencing through the use of drugs and alcohol? Is there more going on here than it simply being about ‘guilty pleasures’?

  6. “There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption.
    The idea that drinking small amounts of alcohol will do you no harm is a myth.”(Professor David Nutt) – why is it, that we do so hardly accept this fact?
    Lets not go over this because we like to stay with our drink and not give up on it.
    Lets face what is going on, not just for ourselves but for mankind. We are called to reflect our behaviors because they do and will inspire others, as the behaviors from other generations did inspire us. When we all ‘just go on’ what is ‘normal’ in the moment, what means it is accepted, we are accountable for a lot of harm. Lets have look what we are accepting – what we do to us and others – and see if we still want to go on with it then.

    1. Great comment Sandra Schneider and I agree we are ‘accountable for a lot of harm’ when we just bop along and say nothing or jump on the bandwagon and go with the normal of what is being accepted.
      This blog confirms alcohol is a scientific proven poison and yet we somehow see it as normal and legal to consume it whenever and at whatever age we want because it is readily available and accessible.
      If you ask anyone on the streets what is the main ingredient in a party or other celebration they would all say alcohol.
      What Professor David Nutt has to say is theTruth – there a no safe limits so lets stop pretending and wake up. We each have a responsibility and as Sandra says in her comment ‘we are called to reflect our behaviours because they do and will inspire others’.

  7. Alcohol is such a dangerous drug. By calling it a drug we are saying exactly what it is. Alcohol is no different to illicit drugs like cocaine, marijuana and heroin for example. However, as it is legal it is an accepted drug. It’s interesting that even though we know the harm that alcohol causes and that there has been so much research confirming its ill effects, it doesn’t carry any warning labels like cigarettes. Why is that? Why is our education and knowledge about the harm of cigarettes out in society, but alcohol is still coveted to some degree as even though there is a lot of evidence confirming the harm, somewhere along the line we still want to say that drinking alcohol in moderation is good for us. Until we accept a one unified truth about the harms of alcohol we are going nowhere.

    1. You are right when you say that alcohol is an accepted drug. Any substance that alters our natural state of being is not the Truth for our body. Those who advocate it, champion the benefits of campaign to ensure we continue called it a social drink or whatever the latest term is will never change anything.
      Alcohol is causing serious harm and what we need is more awareness and the media bringing this to the public would help. However, there is the possibility that those who do have a responsibility may be enjoying their glass of wine in the evening to take the edge off life or simply need a drink to fit in with others and keep going as it is full of sugar.
      Once upon a time cigarettes were endorsed and seen as healthy and look where we are today so who knows the same may happen one day with alcohol. There is now enough evidence confirming it is most certainly a poison for our body.

  8. In today’s Evening Standard newspaper (4th November 2016) they’ve reported that a Senior House of Commons clerk ‘fell to his death after a heavy drinking binge.’ In the days BEFORE he died it is reported that he drunk himself into an “alcoholic stupor” and was taken to A&E. He was under heavy pressure at work and was nearly 3 times over the drink-drive limit when he fell from his 6th floor flat. His partner has shared that in the days leading up to his death he had noticed that his partner had become anxious about a presentation that was coming up at work.

    This case is a prime example of why the questions in this blog need to be taken seriously. In asking WHY we need alcohol in the 1st place. Could it be, as this case shows, that we seek alcohol when we are struggling with life and don’t know how to deal with it? How many of us feel like this – if we are honest with ourselves?

    1. This is huge and thank you Shevon for adding this valuable comment to this blog.
      So here we have a senior staff member working for the UK government ‘heavy binge drinking’. What was going on that no one noticed or are we choosing to ignore it?
      Are we simply accepting that ‘alcoholic stupor’ is ok?
      Have we considered the loss not only to the government department but his partner, friends and family. A whole community is affected and unless we ask the WHY questions will anything really change.
      As you say Shevon, how many of us are feeling like this if we are honest with ourselves.

  9. It’s no surprise Simple Living Global that you mention gin at the beginning of this blog, as there is a gin resurgence happening in the U.K. By the end of 2015, annual gin sales were on their way to exceed £1,000,000,000 (billion). It is estimated that gin sales will top £1,300,000,000 (£1.3 billion) by 2020. Gin is also reported to be very popular amongst young people with – 42% of those surveyed, between the ages of 18 and 34, had drunk gin in the previous 12 months, compared to 27% of those aged over 45. (Survey by Mintel).
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/18/uk-gin-sales-artisanal-distilleries#comments

    300 years later and our world may look different but in Truth we haven’t actually moved on and evolved from 18th century alcoholism. What is going on?

    1. What is going on?
      Great question Shevon and thank you again for adding value to this blog by giving us the update about gin sales. This figure is alarming but is it alarm bells for us or do we just ignore it.? Do those who just see this as a bit of news need alcohol in their daily life?
      Over a billion pounds for one alcohol – add up the rest and we have a booming alcohol industry worldwide.
      Who benefits?
      Who is making the big fat profits?
      Who are the shareholders?
      WHY has nothing changed 300 years later?
      WHY are we the most intelligent species on earth drinking poison?

    2. Not only has the UK sale of gin increased but also the demand for it overseas as more than 139 countries bulk-buy gin. Export sales in 2016 were up 12% from 2015 reaching £474 million. (Daily Mail, 25th February 2017).

      This is being hailed as an impressive achievement; personally having read the stark facts and realities on this article by Simple Living Global, I find it very worrying.

  10. No matter how much we deny it, we do all know that alcohol is not any good for us yet we still insist in lying about this fact to ourselves and to each other. Why? What is driving our need to drink alcohol? What is it about the way that we are living that we need alcohol? For us to ingest a poison like alcohol there has to be something that we are avoiding feeling as alcohol is taken to “take the edge off” or “help us get out of it”. I know for myself that once I dealt with the hurts that I was carrying then my need for alcohol was no longer there as I simply started to enjoy being me.

  11. So it seems alcohol has become such a norm for humanity that we’ve even got monks making and SELLING IT and making millions. Not only that, but they are adding caffeine to it and calling it ‘tonic wine’. The locals are calling it ‘violent wine’ because of its affects. What on EARTH is happening here? How is this in any way divine?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-38290379

    1. Its interesting isnt it – where places that advocate health and wellbeing, e.g. NHS organisations, or other related organisations whilst they dont have any alcohol on their premises at work, they will go out together and have alcohol, or buy one another alcohol as Christmas presents. Yet, they see more than most the impact alcohol has on our body. I went to see a relative the other day who asked me to give a bottle of alcohol to another relative who has dementia – this other relative has a lot of medicines to support and, alcohol would not support them at this time – and when I mentioned this the relative realised that giving alcohol was not a good idea. It feels like it is so ‘normal’ in our society to have alcohol or to give it to others as presents – even though we know the impact it can have, and it is rarely considered that it is possible not to have it.

  12. There is certainly something to question here. Now that I know that both alcohol and caffeine are stimulants, what need is driving us to make drinks with both? This is most definitely harming and not healing for the human body or society as violence is also involved.

  13. We began the conversation a long time ago but it is time we talk more openly and more often about the great lack of accountability in advertising, in our role models and in our selves…

    I know I can not wait for society to model a loving and responsible life. I know I need to really feel what is loving or not for myself and work to live from my heart and part of this is speaking up when something feels wrong, harmful or untrue.

    I used to like to think I was only harming myself when I chose unloving behaviours (alcohol being one) but the more I observe the world the more I realise that we are ALL role models all the time and this means that I am accountable for harm well beyond myself when it comes to any choice to do something that harms me or keeps me smaller than I am (act un-lovingly in any way).

    Why do we like to think of monks, priests, the bishop and others as people ‘closer to God’ or ‘examples who hold wisdom beyond the norm’ even when they don’t show us anything different; when they don’t show us a more loving way to live or to treat ourselves and one another?

    Voicing what is unacceptable to me and not just ‘going along with’ any norm that does not ‘feel right’ to me is a big responsibility in itself as it means I am taking responsibility for what I know and in doing so taking the opportunity to model/offer something different for the world; something more loving and supportive.

  14. Its New Year’s Eve and I was looking on Twitter/social media. Many of the police and ambulance organisations are giving out warnings of not drink driving, and staying safe so that they don’t have to care for those who go over the top tonight. There were postings from a few hospitals who asked the public to be responsible, as when they are irresponsible regarding alcohol the A&E depts have to treat them, and that puts pressure on the staff who in A&E who are already treating others who have more serious illnesses or conditions not related to alcohol. Why is it that we can be irresponsible with ourselves and our body hurts, but it doesnt stop there, our irresponsibility for instance with alcohol on nights like tonight have a far reaching ripple effect – to the extent that our emergency services and NHS have to focus on fixing/patching up those who have over done it – and whilst the NHS/emergency services triage to ensure they treat the most seriously ill first, those with alcohol related problems mean staff in these services are pushed to the limit to try and deal with everything that comes through their doors.

  15. Around 40% of the NHS’S workload is related to “modifiable health risk factors” such as EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION, smoking and lack of exercise say Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/07/more-spent-on-treating-obesity-related-conditions-than-on-the-po/

    So here we have the chief of the health system in one country telling us that Alcohol is a problem for the health service. We all know after reading this blog that it is a scientific proven poison and yet we seem to merrily go along ignoring this fact and adding burden to our already overstretched health systems.

    What is it about the nature of alcohol that we have so readily accepted in society as a ‘norm’?
    WHY do we feel that going on a bender or binge to ‘drown our sorrows’ is actually going to change anything?
    WHY is it that those big advertisement campaigns which tell us to drink alcohol ‘Responsibly’ really has no effect on our decision to go out on a night out?
    WHY is it that we get so hooked on this poison that is killing us inside?
    WHY is it that we just don’t seem to value our one and only precious body in anyway?
    WHY are we not educated about the fact that alcohol contains sugar which we all know is a poison in our system?
    WHY do we think a little tipple is good for us every night?
    WHY do we endorse alcohol like it is a medicine and encourage others to join the bandwagon?
    WHY are we not properly informed about the ins and outs of alcohol so we can make our own choice?
    WHY are we using alcohol to forget our problems on a pub crawl?
    WHY are we not able to party party without alcohol as the main drink?
    WHY are we ok with being irresponsible knowing the NHS will take care of us when we drink alcohol in excess?
    WHY do our authorities not challenge those that need to take Responsibility for their behaviour?
    WHY are we consistently coming up with solutions and band aids to a global crisis about a poison we so readily have available?
    Is it time to stop and pause – Is there another way?
    http://simplelivingglobal.com/is-there-another-way/

    1. Over half harmed by another’s drinking. That is huge, and I suspect it is not even the tip of the iceberg.

      For example, I know how much I was affected by my parents’ drinking. I grew up around alcohol at my parents’ pub, at family gatherings, at football matches. Drinking was so normal, my brother and I were drinking from our early teens and very much to excess as we got older, albeit in socially-acceptable settings. I stopped drinking when I finally realised how much alcohol changes you and that I actually didn’t like that.

      How many of us are affected by alcohol but never make it onto a statistical survey like at that link?

  16. Just reading this blog reminded me of the many hangovers I used to suffer. My weekends commenced on Thursday’s because that was when my weekend would start and I loved going to the pub. I would ring the pub earlier and ask them to put a couple of beers in the freezer so by the time I got to the pub they would be icy cold or crystallised and the following day I would be nursing a croaky throat or a sore head. Every time I went on holidays, I would carry a bottle of water which had clear alcohol and I’d buy the soft drink and pour my alcohol into it – it was a cheap way of getting drunk!

    There were times when I was so drunk I had no idea who or what I was and to abuse my body further I would go for a run the following day – I was so abusive to my body. I cringe just writing about this – how irresponsible was I.

    I stopped drinking a few years ago and have absolutely no regrets wishing I had stopped drinking many years before.

    A relative recently asked how I enjoyed life when I told him I didn’t drink any more, he was recovering in Brain Injury Unit and just spent 3 weeks in Intensive Care Unit after coming off his motorbike – he had been drinking.

    I love getting up in the morning after spending time with family or friends and remembering everything about my evening with out nursing a sore head.

  17. In the news this week – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/26/boozy-retirement-threat-to-over-50s
    “Last week Tony Rao, a consultant psychiatrist who has long campaigned on the dangers of older-age drinking, warned that the number of over-50s admitted to hospital because of the amount of alcohol they drink has more than trebled in a little over a decade.”
    A week doesnt go by without the mention of alcohol and its issues – not just the harm it causes us but the continued drain it has on healthcare and other resources.

  18. Maybe there is some truth in your quote you heard from Pythagoras.
    Do we all understand what this is saying to us?
    Could it be WHY things are the way they are because some who are in positions of power are they themselves partial to the odd glass or two of this legal poison we call alcohol?
    In other words, we cannot challenge and put a stop to a poison that is clearly harming the human body if we are making a decision from a body that actually drinks alcohol. So it is a bit like a blind spot in us and we certainly don’t want the law to change and take away our drinking pleasure.

    Question is – what will it take before we address WHY anyone needs to drink a poison under the name “free will” when in truth it affects not only us and our body but much much more..?

  19. Daily Mail – 4 March 2017, page 10
    Hot news – National Newspaper saying Fire Services in England are calling for drink-driving limit to be reduced to just under one pint of beer for men and half pint for women. Also the limit will be further reduced for lorry and taxi drivers, learners and newly qualified.
    They want this legalised.
    WHY? well it is a bit obvious really – latest figures are showing alcohol has contributed to a rise in road accidents and those injured in the UK and they want that reduced.
    Great news but is this the answer?

    Is there more we can do here?
    Can we go for a total ban?
    Are we ready to take the level of RESPONSIBILITY that is needed?

    This blog is presenting statistics and facts that when a poison like alcohol enters our body, it alters our natural state.
    That means any amount however small is going to affect us and there is no getting away from this immutable fact.
    Do we need to ask WHY is it that we are even allowing anyone to drink poison and take the wheel?
    What value are we placing on human life, our environment, our public services who pick up the mess from our irresponsible choices, our community and our country when we think it is ok to drive around under the influence of a mind altering substance that is legal called Alcohol?
    WHY are very few of us challenging this?
    Are we afraid to stand out?
    OR do we keep quiet as it suits us?

  20. This has been a really educational read Simple Living Global. I have not heard of the Blood Brain Barrier before, it makes me reflect on the days when I used to drink, the horrendous headaches and nausea that increasingly got worse and were starting to give me health problems. It makes me appreciate the incredible design of our bodies, down to such detail as a barrier to protect the brain .. and we drink a substance, you so rightly call poison, that is used as a disinfectant and to run a car, that passes through this barrier going deep into the capillaries of the brain. Just this piece information alone speaks volumes in asking why are we consuming this substance when it brings such harm to the body?

    An elderly person I new was in a care home for respite, they had an illness that included mild dementia, I noticed on visiting them one time that they were much less interactive and able to focus on what was being said, I found out they were being given a whisky because they ‘enjoyed it’. I pointed out the decline, I had noticed and talked about some of the effects of alcohol with those over seeing them. Thank fully the alcohol was stopped and there was a noticeable improvement the next time I saw them. This really brought home to me the importance of awareness of the harm alcohol causes .. on a personal level and also for those we are responsible/care for.

    I have learnt so much more, alarmingly so, of the effects of alcohol from reading this blog and will return to read it again. Thank you.

  21. Thank you Simple Living Global for this in-depth expose on the harmful effects of this most insidious of drugs.

    I say insidious because of how alcohol is considered a societal norm and if you don’t drink alcohol, you are considered abnormal and in some cases you are ostracized.

    It is said that alcohol was created anywhere between 4000 and 7000 BC with beer being created about 9000 BC

    Humans have been creating alcohol for a very long time now using a variety of ingredients to ferment:

    Grains, fruits, honey, rice, corn, etc.

    The only case I have heard of where the authorities of the day tried to reduce the consumption of alcohol was the Prohibition Era in the US from 1920-1933.

    The intention was to reduce the consumption of alcohol by shutting down businesses that manufactured, distributed and sold alcohol.

    Strangely enough, although it was now illegal to manufacture, distribute and sell alcohol, possession and consumption wasn’t.

    Initially there was a decrease in alcohol consumption but with human nature as it is and the need for alcohol, it led to the rise of the home distiller, the bootleggers, the rum-runners, the speakeasies and the gangsters.

    Home made stills sprung up across the country, especially in the mountains of the Appalachian states, famous for its ‘Moonshine’.

    Ironically, the spirits that came from these stills were often stronger than anything that could have been purchased before prohibition. The moonshine would often be used to fuel the cars and trucks that carried this illegal juice.

    While prohibition was originally intended to reduce beer consumption in particular, it ended up increasing the consumption of hard liquor.

    I have no doubt at all that those in authority know how harmful alcohol is and that they need to reduce the consumption of alcohol.

    Could it be possible that nothing of true meaning has been done, or is being done, to reduce consumption of alcohol is because of the huge amounts of tax that is collected through the sale of alcohol and outweighs the necessity of putting peoples health first?

    When it comes to personal opinions, if someone doesn’t like what is being said, they will always say, ‘well, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it’.

    Most people accept that science is a fact and not someone’s opinion.

    When someone starts justifying to me why they drink alcohol and that it is good for you, my response is simple:

    If you believe in science, then you need to go no further than:

    ‘ALCOHOL IS A SCIENTIFIC PROVEN POISON’

  22. Great comment Tim and thank you for giving us more insight into the history of alcohol.
    What sticks out is the fact this moonshine was used to fuel the cars and trucks that transported this dangerous substance we today call alcohol. It then ended up increasing the consumption of hard liquor.

    So when are we going to put human life before the dollar sign?

    The truth is if we stopped and got absolutely honest for one moment, it is super clear and obvious things are getting worse and nothing will change whilst we have those in power endorsing this substance called ALCOHOL which is a SCIENTIFIC PROVEN POISION.

    When our justice system condone that we can by free will ‘drink ourselves to the ground’ if we choose to, we all need to question what message this is sending out to our youth of today.
    Is this the licence to do what we want with no accountability for the consequences?
    Is this the permission we seek to let loose and do what we want, when it comes to drinking alcohol?
    Is this offering us the right to harm our body because we can if we want?
    Is this truly supporting our health system that has to deal with the harm alcohol brings?
    Is this confirming the future of our society that things will be getting much worse?

    Where is the RESPONSIBILITY and where are we going to start with this word?
    Lets face it this word makes most of us turn the other way, ignore it or pretend its for someone else?

    Finally, something to consider and ponder deeply on –
    Could it be possible that if we enjoy the odd drink or have any association with alcohol in our own body system, this stops us from making powerfull decisions on behalf of humanity?
    In other words how can we challenge something and make changes, if we ourselves are doing what we are asking others not to.
    Simple maths = no change.

  23. A report last year (http://www.ias.org.uk/uploads/Alcohols_impact_on_emergency_services_full_report.pdf) shows the impact alcohol has more widely on society for example:
    “Up to 80% of weekend arrests are alcohol-related, and just over half of violent crime is committed under the influence.
    In 2009/10 there were 1.4 million alcohol-related ambulance journeys, which represents 35% of the overall total.
    Estimates for the proportion of Emergency Department attendances attributable to alcohol vary, but figures of up to 40% have been reported, and it could be as much as
    70% at peak times.
    Alcohol is typically found to be involved in 10-30% of all fires.
    Moreover, alcohol-caused fires are usually worse: 50% result in casualties, compared to 14% for other fires; and they cost five times more on average.
    Our survey of front line staff confirms the magnitude of the problem: alcohol
    takes up as much as half of their time. The issue is particularly acute for the police, for whom 53% of their workload, on average, is alcohol-related. However, even fire and rescue teams, who reported being the least affected of the emergency services by alcohol, typically spent one in five working hours dealing with the consequences of drinking.”
    And yet it is still ‘legal’ we still use it, and, worse still it is often advocated in ‘studies’ as being good for us. Looking at this report alone – what good is alcohol to us as individuals or as a society?

  24. The Government in England and Wales are considering bringing in minimum unit pricing and increasing taxes on cheap high strength alcoholic beverages, like cider.

    43 doctors are amongst those who have written to the Chancellor Phillip Hammond, requesting the change, as the impact of drink-related harm is becoming more evident.

    The article on this link reports that crime, ill health and lost productivity, as a result of alcohol use, is amounting to £52 billion each year. This is an increase from the £21 billion previously estimated.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/02/alcohol-related-lost-output-and-ill-health-costs-uk-52bn-a-year

    The poignant part about this is that only some alcoholic beverages are being considered.
    This is further supported by the announcement in March 2017 that the Government are specifically looking at introducing a tax band to target high strength white cider – http://www.ias.org.uk/What-we-do/Alcohol-Alert/March-2017.aspx#TOP-STORY-Treasury-opens-consultation-on-new-tax-band-for-white-cider

    This would mean that these products would have to pay a higher tax duty rate. Wine is also being looked at.

    If 167,000 years of working life are lost each year in England due to alcohol, is it just some alcoholic beverages that need to come under scrutiny or all of them?

  25. I watched your link for the real life stories on alcohol today, it really brings home how poisonous alcohol is to the body leaving permanent damage to health, breaking down peoples lives, affecting relationships and those that know them.

    It confirms to me my choice to no longer drink alcohol and that I will not return to it.

  26. When reading news reports of late, in our popular press, I have started to question whether there is any bias in the reporting, particularly when it comes to incidents where alcohol is involved. We can find, on checking different sources of the same news report, that some will report on the fact that alcohol was involved and other news reports will leave that information out.

    A great question to ask is –

    Is the writer themselves an advocate of alcohol?

    If they are it follows that any reference to alcohol use could be easily left out in the reporting and it makes sense as, if we are not questioning things in our own lives, we do have a blind spot and therefore – how can we report truthfully or at least with honesty about any situation?

    This brings a whole new level of discernment in assessing any information that we read and knowledge that we receive.

  27. It’s so true Jane repeatedly there are articles in the news on a weekly, if not daily basis on the harms of alcohol.

    3rd April – Metro

    ‘Women who binge drink before becoming pregnant could harm their babies. Their children are likely to have high blood sugar levels, placing them at risk of diabetes.’ (p.7)

    This research was conducted on rats, however it does make sense that harms from alcohol continue WELL AFTER we have stopped drinking.

  28. Metro Newspaper – 12 April 2017

    2016 – UK
    £24,000,000,000 spent on alcohol in pubs, bars and restaurants
    £400,000,000 higher than 2015

    Statistics are showing that britons are opting for more expensive products on a night out. So what exactly is this saying to us?

    Are we really celebrating this as a solid performance?
    Are we really able to drink poison responsibly in anyway?
    Are we uncomfortable when we are challenged by blogs like this?
    Are we choosing to forget that ALCOHOL IS A SCIENTIFIC PROVEN POISON?
    Are we talking to the staff in our A&E what they witness as the effects of alcohol?
    Are we taking the words ‘Free Will’ as a licence to abuse and assault our body?
    Are we questioning our Intelligence when it comes to drinking alcohol?
    What is the Intelligence that makes us accept poison as ok to drink?

  29. If drinking alcohol, A SCIENTIFIC PROVEN POISON, isn’t harmful enough, we are now mixing our favourite ‘SPIRITS’ with caffeine based energy drinks.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-energy-drinks-alcohol-dangerous-mix-health-0329-20170322-story.html

    The studies in the above article show that a higher rate of injury was reported when mixing the two together.

    They noticed that not only was there an increase in falls, car accidents and suchlike, but also the incidences of suicidal behaviour and violence had increased.

    According to study lead author, Audra Roemer, one of the problems of mixing these drinks together is:

    “The stimulant effects of the caffeine in energy drinks can work to mask the sedative effects of alcohol, although energy drinks don’t lessen the impairing effects of alcohol on the body and brain. This could result in people underestimating their level of intoxication.”

    Here we have a form of refuge (alcohol) that even one small drop of it will take us away from who we truly are, being mixed with a drink that contains another drug (caffeine) to take us even further away from who we truly are.

    What is it in us that we need to find ever more harmful ways to check out and numb ourselves?

    Caffeine is a highly addictive drug.
    Alcohol is a highly addictive drug.

    Mix the two together and you have a potential bomb just waiting to explode.

    The last words in this blog, from Professor David Nutt, is a huge message for us all and one that we would be wise to heed.

    “There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption.
    The idea that drinking small amounts of alcohol will do you no harm is a myth.”
    Professor David Nutt.

  30. Prosecco is an Italian Sparkling wine from the Prosecco region of Italy and for many years it has always been seen as second best to champagne but fine prosecco’s have become more widely available so they are now as popular as champagne.

    It seems that adding prosecco to products is all the rage these days, from:

    Ice pops
    Teas
    Sweets
    Casseroles
    Chocolates
    Lip balms
    Soaps

    An article in the Daily Mail newspaper talks about adding prosecco in our batter mix to make pancakes and also adding it to sugar to make the syrup for the pancakes.

    The recipe was launched by a wine café chain and they say they are working on a prosecco tasting menu. The co-founder of this chain says “we have a huge demand from our customers who want anything in a prosecco form.”

    What is going on here?

    Alcohol is a scientific proven poison.

    Why do we need to have alcohol at breakfast time?

    Why do we need to add alcohol to any food or product?

    What is it in us that gets us excited about alcohol laden food?

    Why do we need prosecco flavoured soap??

    Why are we ASKING for any food or product to be made with any alcohol?

    Its not just the pancakes that have been flipped on their heads – it looks like we have too!!!

  31. We have pilots who are actually jailed for being intoxicated as reported in one such case in Canada (Metro, 5th April 2017, p.17)

    I am not surprised that this is taken seriously, given the responsibilities that a pilot has for so many people, turning up to work drunk would be a form of gross misconduct.

    Having worked in aviation there is an extensive amount of checks that cabin crew have to carry out, for both passenger and staff safety, let alone the pilot, so there is a massive responsibility in being fit for work.

    This article is quite interesting as it discusses further the risks and the prevalence of pilots drinking.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/pilots-drinking-drunk-on-duty-safety-law-rules-cabin-crew-alcohol-on-board-a7216336.html

    What I get from reading this is that the use of alcohol is damaging regardless of the job that we do and it’s ill effects are far reaching.

    Whether we are responsible for 100’s of passengers or not, our alertness and ability to do any job will be ill affected when we are drinking alcohol, as having toxins in our body does not enable us to have clarity of thought and to see things distinctly.

  32. News story in Daily Mail on 18 March 2017 says that one in 7 divorces linked to heavy drinking by wives.

    Alcohol abuse in a marriage due to the behaviour of the wife has tripled since 1980.

    The story talks about the ‘corrosive effect’ of alcohol as one factor that is causing couples to part and drinking alcohol at work such as taking lunches with colleagues or networking clients was cited in a number of cases.

    The Marriage Foundation are saying that alcohol is rather a product of unhappiness rather than a cause.

    Whatever our personal opinions are and casting no judgment – are we experts on the subject of alcohol and the harm it is doing not only to marriages but families, communities and beyond?

    If we are drinking this poison called alcohol because that is exactly what alcohol is, then do we have the authority to talk about it in a way that gets to the root cause of why anyone would want to put poison into their body?

    Next – what on earth is going on for a working mother and where is her internal Responsibility compass when she chooses the business lunch and says Yes to alcohol?
    Even without children or if we are young, single and free does it make any sense to put a a poison into our body at lunch time and then work?

    What is the real quality of our work if we have our natural state altered because that is exactly what alcohol does?

    WHY do organisations turn a blind eye to alcohol in the name of ‘networking clients’ for business lunch?
    Are those – the big kahunas, who give it the thumbs up and think it is ok, drinking alcohol themselves and so they cannot see the harm as they are blind to it?

    Does it make sense that if we are doing something and we endorse it – like drinking poison called alcohol, then we cannot really get to the root cause or even question why another chooses to drink?

  33. This article shares a personal story from Matthew Todd writing for The Guardian newspaper on the harms of alcohol and his wake-up call.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/11/alcohol-abuse-affects-mental-health-rarely-discussed

    What is really interesting is that he says that professionals rarely understand addictions as they have their own problems and that he was rarely asked how much he was drinking when he was in therapy.

    This proves the point that we are unable to help another if we are blind to the same issue within ourselves.

    The statistics quoted of a 94% increase over the last 10 years of 15 – 59 year olds being admitted to hospital with alcohol-related behavioural disorders and this increasing by 150% for people age 60 + is alarming and reinforces the fact that things are getting worse.

    What will it take for us to make a change and view alcohol enmasse for the harming poison that it is?

  34. http://www.medicaldaily.com/dangers-binge-drinking-just-21-instances-unhealthy-alcohol-use-may-cause-early-409112

    Medical Daily – 23 January 2017

    Most of us think that it takes years of serious alcohol abuse before damage occurs.

    A new study, published online in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found that binge drinking sessions were enough to cause symptoms of early-stage liver disease.

    The study was carried out on mice but reading this blog and with a dose of common sense, it would not come as a surprise.

    Our body is not naturally designed to drink a poison which we call alcohol. To give it binge drinking sessions, the liver simply cannot handle it.

    University of Rochester states that Binge drinking is dangerous.
    It increases the risk of accidental injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns and drowning.

    In addition, binge drinkers have increased risk of killing someone; committing suicide; engaging in child abuse or domestic violence; high blood pressure; heart attack; inflammation of the stomach, pancreas, brain or spinal cord; sexually transmitted infections; and poor control of diabetes.

    Binge drinking can also put you at risk for alcohol abuse disorder – a mental and physical health condition where individuals find themselves unable to control their drinking; as a result they may face many work and relationship problems.

    We hear that we have a binge drinking culture so where is it going to end?
    Do our youth know about all of this harm to the human body?
    Are we not educating them at a very young age so they know the real harm of alcohol?
    Have we stopped long enough to question why anyone would want to binge drink?
    Are we concerned of the human toll globally with this binge drinking culture?
    What are we waiting for and who is going to tell us what to do?
    Is anyone going to listen to us or do we just accept things as they are?

    Are we aware of the list of increased risks mentioned above and how does that make us feel?

    Is it time to get really honest and start with the fact that Alcohol is a poison?

  35. A study by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has found that half a glass of wine or a small beer raise the risk of breast cancer by up to 10%.

    That’s 10g of alcohol.

    What is alcohol doing to the body if 10g of it increases the risk of cancer?

    Are we shouting this from the rooftops? Are we hoping it will not apply to us?

    Here is a news article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39998678
    Here is the medical study: http://www.aicr.org/continuous-update-project/reports/breast-cancer-report-2017.pdf

  36. I was talking this weekend with a father of a teenage son. He was sharing the current parental protocols on parties.

    He recently dropped his 15 year old off at a friend’s 16th birthday party. The party was a house party at the family home. The parents had arranged buckets of beer for the boys and buckets of prosecco for the girls. There was also a bucket for anyone who needed to vomit.

    The thinking was to enable the kids to do what they were going to do anyway, but to do it in a ‘safe’ environment. Apparently all the parents of the class were doing this and felt it was a good way to ‘get the kids used to alcohol’ so they didn’t go crazy later in life.

    When he went to pick up his son, there was a teenager laying on the front lawn vomiting and he was told by the dad that there were another 2 out the back.

    One thing he came to while we were talking was that he felt it would be hypocritical for him to expect his kids not to drink alcohol if he himself was drinking in their presence. He hadn’t until that point thought about himself as a role model.

    This was such a mind boggling story for me to hear. How we normalise alcohol. How we pass it on to our kids and how they aspire to it because of what they see around them.

    What a responsibility we each have as individuals, as parents, as role models and as part of what makes up society and all its norms.

  37. A bulletin from the Office for National Statistics shows the adult drinking habits in Great Britain from 2005-2016.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/opinionsandlifestylesurveyadultdrinkinghabitsingreatbritain/2005to2016

    In 2016, 56.9% of respondents in an ‘Opinion and Lifestyle Survey’ aged 16 years old and over drank alcohol in the week before the interview, which equates to 29 million in the population.

    7.8 million binged on alcohol.

    Those earning £40,000 or more annually are more likely to be frequent drinkers and binge on their heaviest days with binge drinking being twice as common among the high earners (21.8%) compared to the lowest earners (10.7%).

    Interestingly, binge drinkers in the higher income bands were more likely to be men but the binge drinkers in the lower income bands were more likely to be women.

    Men are more likely to binge than women with 62.8% of men that drank compared with 51.3% of women but when it came to binge drinking the gap narrowed with 28.2% of men exceeding 8 units of alcohol and 25.3% of women exceeding 6 units of alcohol on their heaviest days.

    When you look at age specifics, females aged between 16-24 actually binged more than males aged between 16-24.

    Similar patterns were observed in England, Scotland and Wales.

    Of the three countries, Scotland had the highest figures of binge drinkers and of the English regions, binge drinking was more common in the north with the south west of England being the lowest.

    The report states that these figures are based on conclusions drawn from ‘weighted’ population counts, which means that the figures are a representation of the population.

    It is also likely that the figures reported here is an underestimation of the drinking levels to some extent because people either consciously or unconsciously underestimate their alcohol consumption.

    The report goes on to say that that the proportion of adults who said they drink alcohol is at its lowest level since 2005.

    This survey in 2016 showed that 59.6% of respondents drank alcohol compared to 64.2% in 2005. There have also been similar reductions in those who drank alcohol on 5 days or more and an increase of 2% of those who drink no alcohol at all (teetotalers).

    It is a great sign that the consumption of alcohol is decreasing but these figures are still eye boggling.
    Considering that alcohol is already known to be a SCIENTIFIC PROVEN POISON by those in authority, i.e. the Scientists, the Surgeons and Doctors, the Government, with so many people in authority saying how harmful alcohol is, why isn’t more being done to get this message across?

    Is putting a few pence on the price of alcohol every time there is a budget really going to make a difference?

    Will it really stop people buying alcohol or is it possible that it will just get people to buy a cheaper brand of alcohol?

    Is it possible that the incidence of 5 days or more drinking is getting less and the rise of binge drinking is increasing because the price of alcohol is going up and people are saving up for their ‘nights out’ and making the most of it?

    Alcohol is the cause of many problems our society faces, and yes, it is up to each of us individually to take responsibility for our choices, but it is also the responsibility of those in authority to make sure people are aware of the harm that this legal ‘proven poison’ is doing to our bodies.

    Alcohol is a SCIENTIFIC PROVEN POISON and increasing the price of alcohol every year to deter people from drinking alcohol and then telling people… it is okay to drink in moderation, drink responsibly, to have a glass of wine as it is good for you because it once used to be a grape, to have a drink because it is good for the heart…is this not a conflicting statement?

    Is there any True Responsibility here?

  38. So it’s official – alcohol degrades brain function.

    Even ‘moderate’ drinking results in structural changes to the brain leading to ‘brain atrophy’ or ‘right sided hippocampal atrophy’.

    There is no ‘safe level’ of drinking and anyone still thinking alcohol is in any way healthy is deluding themselves.

    Here is the report: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2353
    Here is the NHS on the subject: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2017/06June/Pages/Even-moderate-drinking-may-damage-the-brain.aspx

    Perhaps science is finally starting to catch up with common sense.

  39. An article from ‘medicaldaily.com’ talks about how that 5 major organs are being destroyed by our alcohol consumption:

    1. Heart
    2. Brain
    3. Liver
    4. Pancreas
    5. kidneys

    http://www.medicaldaily.com/alcohols-effect-body-5-majors-organs-are-being-destroyed-your-alcohol-consumption-291440

    The article talks about how alcohol, when consumed responsibly and in moderation, can be enjoyed without repercussions.

    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the immediate effects of alcohol can begin in 10 minutes after our first sip but it is the long-term effects of alcohol that we should be more worried about.

    Research suggests that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a variety of different cancers and can cause severe damage to almost all of the body’s major organs.

    Alcohol is absorbed into bloodstream first through the stomach then the small intestine. Within a few minutes the alcohol is distributed via our blood to our whole body.

    A doctor on a video in this article presents that some alcohol is processed through the mouth or sweat but most of it is processed through the liver.

    Generally the liver does a great job at processing alcohol but excessive drinking really taxes the liver and can lead to serious health problems including insomnia, weight gain, sexual difficulties, liver disease, brain damage and even death.

    The doctor also gives a few tips of what you can do to minimize the effects of alcohol:

    1. Eat something before you start drinking
    2. Have snacks while you are drinking
    3. Pace yourself with a glass of water or juice between each drink

    If alcohol can be enjoyed by drinking responsibly and is championed as being good for us in moderation – why then are doctors telling us to make sure we eat before and during drinking alcohol and drink water and juice between each alcoholic drink?

    Is it possible that even one sip of alcohol is excessive?

    Is it possible that even one sip of alcohol can have repercussions in our body?

    Alcohol, like any drug, alters our natural state.

    Alcohol is a scientific proven poison.

    Is it possible that the only safe level of alcohol we should put into our bodies is ‘0’?

  40. I listened to a guy on the radio recently. He was the consultant in charge of one of the A&E departments the night of the recent London Bridge terrorist attack.

    He was sharing that some hospital staff are now choosing not to drink and to stay in on a Friday and Saturday night instead of going out socialising.

    He says they know if they do drink, they won’t be able to help if they get the call and they feel an increased responsibility.

    He said they know that drinking inhibits their abilities and their awareness and that they all know this.

  41. Researchers have found that High Blood Pressure is also a health risk of Binge Drinking.

    In a study from the University of Montreal Research Centre they found that the blood pressure of adults aged 20 – 24 were 2 – 4 mmHg higher than those that did not binge drink.

    756 young people were tested at age 20 and then again at age 24.

    Going forward the researchers will track the same participants at age 30 to see if their blood pressure gets worse.

    The main interests of the study are to see whether:

    1. Decreasing alcohol intake with age reduces the risk of high blood pressure
    2. Young adults are damaging their bodies permanently

    http://www.medicaldaily.com/binge-drinking-young-adults-hypertension-374202

    So this is a large scale study and something for us to take notice of.

    Repeatedly we have reports that binge drinking is
    a) increasing
    b) having a detrimental affect on our health but for some reason we continue.

    In The Real Truth about Alcohol, Simple Living Global have already cited that in 2015 the cost of binge drinking in the UK alone cost the taxpayer £4.9 billion.
    So it is not just our physical health but our financial health and economies that are being adversely affected too. http://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-alcohol/

    Something clearly is not right.

  42. An article in Bloomberg talks about how ‘Europeans are drinking themselves to death.’

    Europeans drinking habits are putting its people at risk of developing digestive cancers, according to a new report by the continents leading doctors.

    The average European puts away one to four drinks a day which classifies them as moderate drinkers which increases the risk of colorectal and oesophageal cancers.

    According to data collated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it shows that Europeans drink more than people on any other continent, an average of 11.2 litres of alcohol per year which is equivalent to just under 2 drinks a day.

    Americans drink 20% less than Europeans while Africans drink half the amount of Europeans.

    One in four Europeans over the age of 15 drinks heavily – more than four alcoholic drinks at least once a week.

    According to a gastroenterologist Professor, “The majority of people aren’t aware that alcohol is a risk factor in these cancers.”

    Nearly one in four deaths from gastrointestinal diseases can be attributed to alcohol intake, according to a WHO report from 2014.

    The chief executive of the British Society of Gastroenterology says, “There are carcinogenic effects from alcohol that primarily affect the gastrointestinal tract. Fundamentally, there is no such thing as no-risk drinking.”

    The WHO estimates that new cancer cases are expected to increase from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million in 2030.

    At the moment, Lithuania tops the list of the countries that have the heaviest drinkers with Lithuanians drinking 3.2 alcoholic drinks per day, or 18.2 litres of pure alcohol per person, per year.

    By comparison, drinkers in the USA are downing 1.6 drinks per day.

    Lithuania’s government have just passed sweeping reforms of its alcohol laws.

    It will ban alcohol advertising, raise the drinking age from 18 to 20 and outlaw alcohol sales between 8pm and 10am.

    Is, banning advertising, raising the legal drinking age and outlawing the sales of alcohol at any time of the day, really going to make much difference?

    Raising the cost, banning advertising, increasing the legal age and outlawing sales of alcohol at certain times are all tried and tested methods of getting people to look at and reduce their alcohol consumption but the fact is, none of these methods have ever had any measure of lasting success.

    Is it possible that instead of the above, more education on the harm and the diseases alcohol causes, would be much more beneficial and would have much more of an effect on people’s attitude towards alcohol?

    With people in authority, like the chief executive of the British Society of Gastroenterology, saying there is no such thing as ‘no-risk drinking’, why are we not listening?

    As history has shown, the more you tell people they can’t have something, the more they will try to find a way to have it.

  43. Britons are reported to be most at risk in Europe for alcohol-related cancers – bowel and oesophageal.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/04/britons-are-among-most-at-risk-in-europe-for-alcohol-related-cancer

    Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance has said –

    Alcohol is a group 1 carcinogen.

    He has also said that the findings are no surprise, when enough alcohol is sold in both England and Wales for every drinker to consume 50% more than the weekly limit recommended by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers.

    The awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer is just 10%.

    What is this telling us about drinking habits in the UK and our attitude towards alcohol?

    Without knowing the statistic about alcohol-related cancers, having lived in the U.K. all of my life I am very aware that alcohol is a big part of the culture and so it is ‘normal’ to be bladdered (get drunk) after work or at the weekend, rather than not. So this statistic is of no surprise.

    However what is a surprise is our general lack of awareness of the harms of alcohol including the risk of cancer.

    The UK isn’t alone with the high alcohol consumption – none of the 28 European countries were rated as light drinking. Light means one drink or less per day.

    The call is for Governments to do more to raise awareness but is there more that we all can do?

    Could discussion and education in schools, in the home, and in the media for example, be what’s needed so we can all become more aware?

    Do we have a lack of awareness because in Truth we don’t really want to know the harms?

    I used to drink heavily and get drunk but once I stopped I’ve realised what a real waste of time it is.

    However I only stopped when I started asking questions about my life and could feel how miserable I was and that there had to be more.

    If we placed all of the focus, time, money and energy that we spend on alcohol on what supports the true health of humanity our world would be very very different.

  44. An article dated 24 July 2017 in the Guardian talks about how “heavy drinking will kill 63,000 people over the next five years, doctors warn.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/24/heavy-drinking-will-kill-63000-people-over-next-five-years-doctors-warn

    Doctors are urging the government to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol as research reveals extent of liver disease.

    Almost 63,000 people in England will die over the next five years from liver problems linked to heavy drinking unless ministers tackle the issue of cheap alcohol with the cost to the NHS being £16.74 billion.

    Analysis by a University’s Alcohol research Group predicts that 32,475 deaths, the equivalent of 35 a day, will be the result of liver cancer and 22,519 deaths from alcoholic liver disease.

    The Alcohol Research Group has also produced new calculations showing that, if a 50p MUP for alcohol were introduced in England, within five years it would mean 1,150 fewer deaths due to drink, 74,500 fewer admissions to hospital because of alcohol, a £326million saving to the NHS and a £711million drop in the value of crime caused by alcohol consumption.

    Liver disease is one of Britain’s biggest killers claiming about 12,000 lives in England alone. The number of deaths associated with it has risen by 400% since 1970 and an estimated 62,000 years of working life are lost every year as a result of it.

    The director of the Institute of Alcohol Studies accused the government of not doing enough to limit alcohol-related harm. “Whilst it is a key government priority to tackle avoidable mortality, we have seen very little action to prevent liver disease, one of the top causes of avoidable deaths.”

    The director also states, “This report shows the enormous financial burden alcohol places on our country. The evidence is clear: raise the price of the cheapest alcohol to save lives and money.”

    At the moment the Scottish government is involved in a long-running legal battle to introduce a 50p MUP for alcohol, as it has been trying to do since 2012.

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and others are appealing against the Scottish Court of Session’s earlier ruling that the policy could be implemented.

    The legislation in Scotland is the first of the four home nations to bring in minimum pricing with Wales following suit and Northern Ireland expressing an interest in doing the same.

    Alcohol is a scientific proven poison, but this in itself is obviously not enough for us to stop drinking.

    Any system that reduces people’s alcohol consumption must surely be a good thing but with this MUP there also needs to be more education on the harm that alcohol causes.

    Is it possible that people will buy alcohol whatever the price is raised to?

    Is it possible that cheaper alcohol may contain substances that are much more harmful than other drinks, which then exacerbates the problems?

    Is it possible that having an MUP is going to create an underground market for the sale of cheap booze?

    The drinks companies will always be up in arms if their profit margins are being affected.

    Is it possible that people’s health is more important than a balance sheet?

    It seems nonsensical, even hypocritical, that governments around the world complain about an issue like alcohol, that has such health and financial implications, but does nothing to tackle these issues even though they have the power to do so.

    The money raised in taxes from the production of alcohol is always going to be a strong motivator, but is it possible the amount of money spent on dealing with liver disease or any repercussions of drinking alcohol, from diabetes, obesity, other cancers, crime, unsociable behaviour, accidents, etc. far outweighs the money coming in from the tax revenue?

  45. There is a study about the effects of alcohol about to start -http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/is-alcohol-good-for-you-an-industry-backed-study-seeks-answers-a7822501.html

    Which is a large scale study on the impact of alcohol over 6 years – it is heavily funded by the Alcohol Industry – so it will be interesting to see whether or not the full results of the study come out in truth – or whether there is any bias – as one Professor says:

    “Research shows that industry-sponsored research almost invariably favours the interests of the industry sponsor, even when investigators believe they are immune from such influence,”

  46. Talk about contradictory advice – this article last week states on the one hand moderate alcohol supports diabetes, and in the same article it states how alcohol causes other health conditions…

    “People who drink three to four times a week are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who never drink”
    and then
    “Consuming alcohol contributes to a vast number of other serious diseases, including some cancers, heart disease and liver disease, so people should keep this in mind when thinking about how much they drink.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40740247

    How on earth do people make sense of this?

    Surely its time for us to face up to the fact that the game is up with alcohol… it causes harm to the body, and has a ripple effect in so many ways – in crime, in domestic violence, in relationships, in attendances in hospital and so on… surely enough is enough?

  47. And in the news again today – alcohol – it has wide reaching negative impacts – this time on air travel.

    “The number of air passengers arrested for drunken misbehaviour on flights and in airports has risen by 50 per cent in the past year, an investigation has found.
    Two senior peers have pressed the government to place the aviation industry under the same strict licensing laws as pubs and nightclubs, after cabin crew described being groped, verbally abused and physically assaulted by inebriated passengers.
    The voluntary alcohol sales code adopted by airlines and airports 12 months ago is failing to foster responsible drinking and should be scrapped, flight staff said.”
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/arrests-of-drunken-air-passengers-up-by-50-252q9dmp7

  48. Evening Standard – 2 August 2017

    London Ambulance Service has launched its first summer sensible drinking campaign as alcohol drinkers caused more 999 callouts than Christmas partygoers.

    They are responding to calls on a Friday and Saturday night and are asking for friends to take responsibility to get them home safely and look after them because it is stopping them from dealing with potentially seriously ill or injured people who could be waiting for help.

    Asking people to drink responsibly – is there really such a thing?
    Asking friends to help if their friends drink too much – is that a solution or a cure?
    Are we giving the right advice or are we going to dig and ask more questions?

    WHY has summer drinking overtaken the Christmas binge booze season?
    What is going on for people that they have a need to drink alcohol in excess?
    What type of community, society, nation and world have we created with alcohol?
    WHY are we being advised to look after those who drink too much so that they do not “end up alone, vulnerable and in need of an ambulance”?
    Are those calling ambulances really calling for help and we are not paying attention?
    Are we dealing with them in a way that supports them to learn from the incident?
    What would change if they were fined and had to pay every time they used the service?
    Are friends who may have alcohol in their own body be the true support that is needed?
    Are we simply expecting some to stay sober just to help out those who chose not to?
    Is passing the responsibility to friends to take care of the drunk person actually making any difference?
    Are we looking at solutions to our ever growing social problem or are we ready to get honest?

    Could it be possible that we can look at alcohol however we choose but the bottom line is it alters our natural state and harms us beyond words as this blog is spelling out?

    Could it be possible that there will be more incidents and more rise in alcohol related statistics until we get to the root cause of WHY anyone drinks alcohol in the first place?

  49. I was reading more about alcohol-related dementia and how it is reversible.

    People who drink moderately but consistently or who binge on and off can get the following symptoms:

    Lost sensation in their extremities
    Unsteadiness on their feet
    Memory loss
    Difficulty performing familiar tasks
    Impaired judgment
    Problems with language
    Malnutrition caused by loss of thiamine (vitamin B1)
    Changes in personality

    The onset can come as early as 30, but often starts in the 50s onwards.

    Drinking in line with recommended weekly limits increases the risk of this brain shrinkage by 3 times.

    The amazing thing is that the onset and severity has been found directly to correlate with the amount of alcohol consumed.

    And it can be halted by removing the alcohol.

    What if you knew alcohol actually shrinks your brain. Would you want that? Would you continue drinking?

    And what if your brain function was degrading and you knew you had the answer to stopping it?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/06/glass-wine-day-enough-damage-brain-could-increase-alzheimers/

    1. Good point – I talked with some people recently – who have 2 glasses of alcohol every night and when one of them went to their GP the GP said – 2 glasses is okay – as long as you only have it in moderation – but did advise having two days off a week to ‘rest the liver’. We all know the harm alcohol is doing, when will we say ‘enough is enough?’

  50. If we really are choosing to evolve, could it be possible that we need to start asking some serious questions about our relationship with alcohol and why we champion it so much?

    Why even in our dying days and in the face of terminal illness do we need to hang onto alcohol taking it in whatever way we can get it into our body, even if it is through a straw, because we can no longer lift the can because our muscles are wasting or because we no longer have full control over the muscles in our throat?

    What is the point of this?

    Is this intelligent?

    Why do we support this and not stop for a few minutes to question what is going on and whether this is actually sane behaviour?

    Is this approved by the medics or does it not matter as the person is at the end of their life?

    Do we continue to allow culture and tradition to dictate, over what our body’s are screaming out trying to tell us, with the harm we are doing to it through the use of alcohol and the many other poisons we allow into our bodies?

  51. And more in the news today – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/23/baby-boomers-drink-and-drug-misuse-needs-urgent-action-warn-experts

    “Urgent action is needed to tackle drink and drug misuse among baby boomers, experts have warned, with a growing body of data from around the world suggesting that substance misuse is increasing among those in their mid-50s and older.
    The call follows the release of recent figures which revealed that in 2015/16 more than half a million adults aged between 55 and 74 were admitted to English hospitals with alcohol-related injuries, diseases or conditions – more than for any other age group.”

    Thats a lot of extra pressure on the NHS when the NHS is already stretched to capacity. If we decided to gradually get rid of alcohol the impact would be enormous.

  52. What is it about airports and alcohol?

    I read about short-haul airlines calling for a crack down in airport sales, due to an increase of 50% year on year in alcohol related arrests on their flights. Proposals include a ban on serving alcohol before 10am and capping the number of drinks served per traveller in the airport.

    Apparently out of 4,000 cabin crew surveyed, 87% have witnessed drunken behaviour.

    This got me thinking.

    Why is there so much focus on alcohol at airports? Certainly in the U.K. you are funnelled through the alcohol aisles after security and as you leave departures.

    It turns out it’s a huge money spinner. £300m of alcohol was sold in airports last year. That’s 1/5 of the alcohol retail total for the entire UK.

    All that duty free…

    For those who made the decisions to introduce duty free in the first place – what was the motivation?

    And for those who decided on the layout of the airports – what were they wanting to achieve?

    Was the focus capitalising on that ‘kick back we’re on holiday’ sentiment?

    Were they supplying to demand or feeding it?

    Was anyone thinking about wellbeing?

    And as we start to see the consequences of those choices, will we make a change?

  53. It is one thing reading about something and totally another when we actually see it for ourself in real life.

    Today 4:50am in London a massive queue whilst I was at the traffic lights. I asked my husband is this a nightclub line or what?

    It was a pub open all night. There were heaps of people outside smoking and inside it looked jam packed and I am wondering what on earth can keep them up all night?

    Would society benefit to carry out a qualitative research study based on the ethnographic approach, where they can be right in there and find out what on earth keeps people going all night?

    Common sense tells us that we are not naturally designed to be awake all night and the consequences to our body are huge. If we read the Sleep blog on this website there is more on this.

    I realised that it was great being up early and out there to actually see what is going on in our world and whilst I cannot become a researcher overnight or start rallying around trying to make things happen, I can write and I can make a comment, so to me that means something is being said about what I know and can feel is not true in our world today.

  54. Evening Standard news story – 25 August 2017

    Student dies after collapsing in a restaurant bathroom and was found unconscious.
    The inquest heard she had drank half a bottle of whiskey and choked on her vomit, which stopped the flow of oxygen to her brain.

    Is this what we call ‘having a good time’ as a close friend said who was there?

    Should we be endorsing this as a good time?

    Is this what our youth class as a good time when celebrating a birthday?

    What about this girl’s family and the knock on effect to all who knew her?

    Is this going to stop anyone from drinking alcohol or are we just going to see it as another news story?

    Are we ready to join the dots and take note that our human body is not designed to have alcohol and if we choose to drink half a bottle then for some there are very serious consequences, as in this case?

    Cause of Death is quoted as –
    Hypoxic brain injury
    Cardiac arrest
    Asphyxiation Vomitus
    Alcohol toxicity

    “…what underlies all of this is Alcohol, I’m afraid.”
    Coroner – Mary Hassell

    How many more deaths do we need reported and how many more research studies do we need to tell us that ALCOHOL is killing us?

  55. Alcohol misuse is so prevalent and such a drain on resources. How much responsibility do we take knowing it is not just us who get affected – the ripple effect can be immense.

    Its the Notting Hill Festival in London this weekend, and the Ambulance Services have been tweeting live updates – and asking people not to over do things. In preparation for Notting Hill they said:

    “Ambulance crews prepare for Notting Hill Carnival – 23 August 2017
    London Ambulance Service is stepping up its preparations for Notting Hill Carnival, and encouraging Londoners to stay safe this bank holiday weekend.Around 160 frontline and control room staff will work on the Sunday and 180 on the Monday, with clinicians out on the streets responding to emergencies on foot while carrying specialist equipment including defibrillators.The Service will work alongside St John Ambulance and colleagues from other ambulance trusts during the carnival (Sunday 27- Monday 28 August) to staff nine treatment centres and provide medical assistance to hundreds of patients.Tactical Commander for the event Paul Gates said: “As ever we want Londoners to stay safe while having fun at the carnival.“Last year we treated over 1,000 patients and we’re expecting this year to be just as busy. I’d urge those attending the carnival to drink alcohol sensibly and avoid illegal substances. We respond to around 150 alcohol-related incidents alone at carnival, so please look after your friends and make sure they get home safely and don’t end up in the back of an ambulance.” http://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/news/news_releases_and_statements/ambulance_crews_prepare_for_no.aspx?lang=en-gb

    There has been a big campaign in recent months by ambulance services about alcohol and the pressure it puts on the use of ambulances.

  56. Evening Standard – 25 August 2017

    The article is about our hard-drinking culture in London.

    Why do we have this and what is being explored here that we could possibly learn?

    In Northerly drinking cultures – Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Russia, alcohol is like a forbidden fruit, closely associated with loosening inhibitions, as well as social problems, moral panics and temperance movements.

    “By blaming alcohol, we sidestep the uncomfortable question of why the English, so widely admired for our courtesy, reserve and restraint, should also be renowned for our oafishness, crudeness and violence.”
    Kate Fox – Anthropologist, Study ‘Watching the English’

    Her hypothesis is that the English suffer from a “chronic sociability disorder…that makes it difficult for us to express emotion and engage in the kind of casual friendly interaction that seems to come naturally to most other nations.”

    So what exactly is this spelling out to us and is it fair to say that this is a British thing?
    Or could it be that it is more obvious in this generally English reserved holding back nation?
    In other words it is common as most of the world agree – the British are nice, polite and rarely offend.

    What on earth is Chronic Sociability Disorder and WHY do we not have funding and more research studies to confirm this?

    If there is some truth in what this woman is saying, then how interesting that we find a substance – a poison – to ensure we have a solution to this problem and use it express everything that we choose, for whatever reason to not say.

    What is this telling us about us and WHY?
    WHY do we need something to alter our natural state to get that loose tongue going?
    WHY do we need the excuse to drink alcohol to feel sociable with others?
    WHY are we choosing to use alcohol in the first place and what exactly does it give us?
    WHY are we not interested in the true harmfull effects of alcohol?
    WHY are we allowing alcohol to be used in this way to deal with our unexpressed emotions?

    WHY are we lacking in the social department and have difficulty with connection with others?
    WHY are we not endorsing and fostering our innate natural sense of being with others, without the need for a scientific proven poison called alcohol?

    Are these questions and this comment and this blog trying to tell us something about alcohol?
    Are we ready to at least consider that something is seriously wrong if our behaviour changes when we consume alcohol regardless of the amount?
    Are we ready to admit that there is no such thing as Responsible drinking when it comes to Alcohol?

  57. An article in the BBC News, 26th August 2017, talks about the horrific crash on the M1 motorway involving two articulated lorries and a minibus.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-41065582

    Eight people in the minibus died with four others receiving life threatening or serious injuries.

    Having seen the pictures of the crushed minibus, it seems incredible that they all didn’t die.

    Both lorry drivers have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving with one of the lorry drivers also being arrested on suspicion of being over the legal alcohol limit.

    As a former HGV lorry driver myself, I have seen a lot of accidents involving lorries and smaller vehicles and I am very aware of how accidents do and can happen. One thing is for certain, the smaller vehicles don’t stand a chance against a potential weight of 44 tons.

    There are very strict rules regarding HGV driving but rules will never remove human error or human arrogance.

    Whatever the reasons may be, it is a total lack of responsibility for any professional driver to be drinking any amount of alcohol if they are going to be working the next day.

    The devastating consequences of this type of accident is clear to see, so to add alcohol to the mix is reprehensible and totally unacceptable for any professional driver.

    If the driver of the HGV is proven to be over the legal alcohol limit, then of course he should be subjected to the full force of the law, but that still doesn’t take away the fact that people have lost their lives due to his choices and it is those choices he will have to live with for the rest of his life.

    Whatever our views are on alcohol, whether it is a car, a lorry, a bus or a bicycle we are driving, the consequences of mixing alcohol and driving are well known and are usually catastrophic.

    We all know that driving and alcohol is not a good combination.

    We all know that the Government has stipulated that we are allowed to drink a certain amount of alcohol before we are over a ‘man made legal limit’.

    We all know that having that one drink could lead us onto that next drink, with the intention of getting a cab or a bus, but then a few more drinks could lead us behind the wheel of our own vehicle.

    We all know that alcohol loosens our inhibitions and adds to our carefree and careless attitude to getting behind the wheel of our vehicle.

    If we know all this, if we know of the dangers involved, if we have all seen on the news or in the papers the terrible and harmful consequences of a drunk driver, why do we still take the risk and go for that one drink?

    Why, as a race of beings, are we so arrogant that we think we are OK, even with one drink?

  58. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-09/america-s-drinking-problem-is-much-worse-this-century?utm_campaign=news&utm_medium=bd&utm_source=applenews

    Bloomberg news – 9 August 2017

    Americans are drinking more alcohol than they used to, a troubling trend with potentially dire implications for the country’s future health-care costs.

    30 million adults binge drink at least once a week according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

    “This should be a big wake-up call. Alcohol is our number one drug problem…”
    David Jernigan, Director Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth
    The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Adult consumption increased across all demographics especially for older Americans, minorities and people with lower levels of education and income.

    This article covers a lot more including the costs that show up in higher health-care needs, lost productivity and prosecuting alcohol-fueled crimes, from drunk driving to homicide.

    “We just tend to overlook Alcohol. There is no national strategy in the U.S. that matches recent, high-profile efforts to combat opioids, smoking or illegal drugs.”
    Jurgen Rehm – Senior Director
    Institute for Mental Health Policy Research
    The Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.

    So do we need a solution fast or is there something else we need to look at?
    Is making alcohol more costly through higher taxes really going to work, or will it drive it into the black market, as it does with other illicit substances?

    Is restricting hours for sale of liquor licenses and limiting availability, going to stop the real drinkers who will do what it takes to get what they want?

    Have we truly got the resources for medical screening and is a cultural shift realistic?

    If Americans and most of our world think excess drinking is simply a character flaw and not a medical problem, is this where we need to find out more?

    Could it be possible (with due respect) all the above and every other solution we have thus far come up with, is not cutting it when it comes to alcohol abuse?

    Could there be another way and we are not choosing to go there?

    Could it be possible that the policy makers and all those who continue to endorse or foster this scientific proven poison cannot and will not make radical changes and fund new studies because they themselves enjoy alcohol?

    Could it be possible that we are not on the front foot really as we are one step behind with all our solutions to fix a problem that is spinning out of control?

    Could it be possible that we need to put all our effort and intelligence into finding out the root cause of WHY someone wants to drink poison that alters their natural state and harms their body?

  59. Alcohol in the news today – this time about the rising popularity of Prosecco – and the potential it has to rot teeth –

    “How our prosecco obsession is rotting the nation’s teeth: Dentists issue warning over the sparkling wine’s high sugar content”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4828240/How-prosecco-rotting-nation-s-teeth.html#ixzz4rgol2zCi

    Again more ripple effects – not just on our own health, and teeth (if it is rotting our teeth what else is it doing to our body?) but also the ripple effect on the dentists and healthcare staff who have to deal with this when we do get into trouble/when our teeth rot.

  60. Woah, it’s surprising to me how a substance which has so many damaging effects, not only for the user but also for those around them, personal and professional, is also so socially acceptable, promoted and even endorsed in society.

  61. In New Zealand, the Medical Association wants the government to ban alcohol being sold in supermarkets.

    They say that wine and beer and the like sold alongside shopping staples such as bread and toilet paper, makes it easy and cheap to buy what is in fact a ‘dangerous drug’. It ‘normalises’ it – people just pop a bottle of wine in the trolly ‘without a second thought’.

    Apparently, alcohol consumption increased ‘exponentially’ when they introduced it’s sale through supermarkets. It also means kids are exposed to alcohol marketing on 85% of their supermarket visits.

    It now costs NZ$5bn a year to deal with alcohol-related harm – police call-outs, injuries and health issues.

    The chair of the Medical Association says evidence suggests alcohol is worse than methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin. It is a cheap, addictive and psychotropic drug.

    She said ‘Alcohol contributes to domestic violence, many cancers and car accidents…. If you are putting alcohol next to your bread and milk, you are essentially saying having alcohol is the same as having bread and milk on a daily basis.’

    Isn’t this just absolute common sense?

    Isn’t the psychology similar to supermarkets displaying chocolate at the till to tempt you while you queue?

    Are we open to the possibility that alcohol is worse than methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin?

    If we could accept that as the truth, what changes would we make? Would this medical woman’s words seem wise?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/07/ban-alcohol-from-supermarkets-urges-new-zealand-medical-authority

  62. Alcohol in the news today – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41188917
    talks about the rise in alcohol-free beers, alcohol-free drinking festivals, alcohol-free spirits and alcohol free night clubs:

    “The alcohol-free drinks market is booming too.
    In only five years, the amount of low or alcohol-free beer sold in the UK has risen by nearly 50%.
    And the world’s first alcohol-free spirit Seedlip launched 21 months ago. In 12 months, it experienced a 1,000% rise in sales.
    There are now clubs for people who want to get together without alcohol and the UK’s first alcohol-free drinking festival was held in London last month.”

    “The clubs and the festival want to cater for the increasing number of Britons choosing to give up drink.”

    When you give up alcohol there can be issues with others e.g. “one of the biggest challenges comes from friends: “It’s actually seen as bad or weird not drinking. It’s like you’re a minority, people look at you like you’re an absolute weirdo.”

    Maybe this is the beginning of a change – and maybe one day there will be no alcohol that we actually drink for ‘pleasure’ – as the only alcohol that is used is for industrial cleaning/chemical purposes.

  63. An article from CNN, 21st April 2017, asks: “Is wine healthy?”

    The answer – Yes, wine may protect our hearts when consumed in moderation. Benefits of moderate alcohol consumption such as wine include a 30% reduction in the risk of heart attack compared to non-drinkers.

    Another question asks: “Isn’t red wine better?”

    The answer – Red wine has been praised for its resveratrol content. Resveratrol is a polyphenol (plant chemical) found in the skin of red and purple grapes. It has antioxidant properties and it also helps to make arteries more flexible which lowers blood pressure.

    According to a professor of epidemiology and nutrition, who has been researching the effects of alcohol and chronic disease for decades at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says a few studies suggest that consuming red wine may be more beneficial than drinking other alcoholic beverages. But, he adds, the amount of polyphenols in red wine is simply not enough to explain the benefits on health.

    In studies on resveratrol given to mice, the mice were given the equivalent amount of resveratrol that would come from 8-10 bottles of wine which of course is very harmful to humans.

    What’s more, research that has looked at resveratrol in humans isn’t that promising.

    One recent study involving close to 800 men and women 65 years or older concludes that resveratrol consumed from dietary sources was NOT associated with longevity, nor did it decrease the incidence of heart disease or cancer.

    The professor also states that “When you consume wine in moderation, most or all of the benefit is coming from the ethanol (alcohol) in wine.”

    Near the end of the article it states:
    A note of caution.
    Alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer.
    For men, drinking a couple of glasses of alcohol a day was associated with a 26% increased risk of cancers such as liver, colon and oesophagus.
    Women with a risk of breast cancer should be cautious when consuming wine.

    Let’s get real here.

    On one hand the article tells us alcohol MAY be good for us and on the other it categorically says that alcohol increases the risk of cancers.

    It tells us that the ‘benefit’ from wine comes from ethanol and not the grape itself.

    Is it possible that the process of turning grapes into wine removes any benefit there may have been?

    IT IS A SCIENTIFIC PROVEN FACT THAT ALCOHOL (ETHANOL) IS A POISON.

    If that is the case, how can there be any benefits from drinking alcohol?

    Why are we so determined to show that drinking alcohol is beneficial to us?

  64. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/14/driver-m1-crash-killed-eight-people-did-not-have-lorry-licence/

    The driver of a lorry was asleep on the motorway for 12 minutes before the fatal accident that killed 8 people.

    We could just sit and blame or we could use this tragic story to start asking some very serious questions?

    How on earth can someone with that amount of Responsibility ie driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle. even contemplate or consider sleeping on the road?

    What was going on for this person that makes them want to just sleep literally at the wheel without any awareness of the consequences?

    What was going on in the mind of this driver that just stops on a motorway lane to sleep?

    Is the alcohol which we all know is a mind altering substance the reason this has happened?

    Are we going to ban everyone from drinking alcohol when driving as no amount is safe?

    Are we going to get real now and see the harm that is caused when someone is over the drink drive limit?

    Are we ready to say No to a scientific proven poison called alcohol that can have such a devastating effect on us and others?

    Are we going to join the dots and make simple sense that sleeping on the motorway is dangerous and anyone in their right mind would never attempt it?

    Are we going to do something about this or just put it down to a terrible news story?
    Are we going to realise that lack of sleep and alcohol abuse are a lethal cocktail?
    Are we going to put our common sense hat on and see this all for what it truly is?

    How do we as a nation get over the worse motorway tragedy in 25 years?

    NOTE – this comment is also published on our Sleep Blog

  65. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/alaska-gold-rush-town-struggles-hard-drinking-legacy-49744042
    ABC News – 10 September 2017

    This news story is telling us that a town in Alaska is trying again to address hard drinking that is deeply entrenched there. This time it is proposing law prohibiting intoxication in public places like the city’s main street because there are tourist shops and people stumbling or passed out.

    Locals are saying such a law would unfairly target residents who are struggling with alcoholism while failing to address root causes.

    Jenny Mills, a member of the Regional Wellness Forum says “we need to address the underlying causes and not pursue a punitive route because it is not addressing the problem”.

    Is it time to listen to the locals who are talking about addressing the root causes?

    We are not born drinking alcohol, so we know something happens to us and then we start.

    Reading this blog does present another way and the questions alone give us a starting point to dig deeper and not keep offering solutions which are like band aids to a bullet wound.

    If we are to turn the tides once and for All, we all need to start with a dose of real honesty.
    As Jenny Mills is saying we need to address the underlying causes and without that consideration we are not really going to make any true change. History has confirmed that fact.

    On another note, many of us want to visit Alaska for whatever reason and most still have the picture postcard image but this story confirms it is far from that.

    As a race of beings can we honestly say we are doing well and have evolved when a place like Alaska with a small population compared to most countries is struggling with an alcohol problem that is not going away?

  66. The Week – Issue 1143, Page 20
    23 September 2017
    Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies warned pregnant women last year, against drinking any alcohol, on the grounds that there is no “safe” level.

    So why would we appoint someone in a powerful government position, give them a grand title and then dispute it or think she is talking twaddle?

    Scientists can make studies look like they want and some of us know that, but what if we just stopped and applied some common sense? For starters this blog is presenting a fact that alcohol is a scientific proven poison. So for those who fund studies about alcohol and those who carry out studies – could it be possible that they have a blind spot where they think it is ok to drink alcohol because they like the stuff and drink it? Possible?

    We keep hearing there is no safe limit and yet we keep wanting and demanding more studies and research. What is the real purpose and could we spend our public money by studying those, like the author of this blog, who have not drank alcohol for over a decade and more to the point, find out WHY people drink alcohol in the first place?
    In other words, get to the root cause – as this drug is killing our world and things have got worse incase we haven’t noticed.

  67. This Week – Issue 1143, Page 6
    23 September 2017
    New students in the UK starting university have been issued with bright coloured wrist bands across the country. It has their name and their hall of residence to help them home after a night out.

    What exactly is this telling us?
    What is this spelling out to us?

    How Intelligent is our academia that thinks it’s a useful solution to help those who get drunk?
    Are we learning anything here or can we join the dots?
    Would it be wise to address WHY there is such an accepted culture of drinking?
    WHY is there a strong correlation with alcohol and university life?
    Would that be a real study that we as the general public need to know more about?
    WHY are we ok with turning a blind eye to this scientific proven poison called alcohol?
    Why is our so called current intelligence killing our youth before they get a job in the real world?

    How are we supporting and preparing them for life after university, if drunk behaviour is seen as the ‘norm’ and ok to do?
    Is is that easy to shake off a momentum of drinking alcohol post university?

    Are these the sort of questions we need to be asking, or do we need more blogs like this all around the campus with talks on the real harmful affects of a poison and what it does to our body?

  68. I love the disclaimer at the top of this blog — This blog is not telling you to stop drinking alcohol and it is not promoting alcohol. It is simply presenting some real Truths about this socially accepted drug.

    I deeply appreciate this approach – not telling me what to do but increasing my awareness around my own decisions. I’ve mostly stopped drinking in the last 14 months and was recently talking with a friend who was totally sober for over a year through pregnancy and breastfeeding. We realized in talking that we both still occasionally will order something only to find when it arrives we will have maybe a few sips, and have had that experience enough times to now start questioning why we are ordering in the first place. After that conversation I started paying attention to what it was I was feeling in the moment of ordering – did I crave the taste?
    Did I just need to be holding a drink to feel less anxious? Etc. In doing that I realized most of the time I was ordering in a moment of discomfort of some kind but if I let myself just feel the discomfort for a few minutes, it passed and I was totally fine on the other side with no alcohol.

  69. Metro – 13 October 2017

    University students on a annual bar crawl with t-shirts saying “rape is not a crime” and other similar offensive quotes causing anger amongst other drinkers.

    With the words ‘Free Will’, we can all do what we like these days and most of us might rant but the fact is nothing really changes. We have a passport to do whatever we want when it comes to free will and free speech and words. No one can stop us as we are living in the 21st century and lost our moral compass way back.

    This bar crawl is a popular event and what we should all be asking is How Intelligent is that really?

    Next – what Intelligence comes up with words like ‘Rape is not a crime’?

    Does anyone question our current form of Intelligence?
    Would this be a good place to start to get real and honest?

    We all know alcohol is a proven mind altering scientific poison, as this blog states.

    Does our mind need to be in an altered state to accept abuse in any form?

    Do we think a joke t-shirt with words like this are ok as it is not seen as harmfull?

    Are we prepared to stand up and say No to abuse in whatever form or do we have our versions of what we say No to?

    How many of us have double standards and wonder why the world is as it is today?

  70. I was in an airport lounge and a business guy there was very drunk.

    He had missed his flight and had 5 members of staff fussing round him.

    They had got him on a flight early the next morning at no charge and had sorted him a hotel to which they were going to escort him.

    They clearly wanted him gone but were being polite and nice about it. So much so that he wasn’t getting the message.

    The attendant in charge told me it happens all the time and she would love to be able to boot them out without ceremony, but she can’t.

    It made me think of A&E departments across the UK where the effects of alcohol take up time, energy and resources every day.

    Are we really powerless to deal with this?

    What lessons are actually learned when we behave as if it doesn’t matter or make it all pleasantly go away?

  71. WHY are those who choose no alcohol the odd ones?

    I had two experiences in the last two days where I saw clearly how hard it is for other people to hear “no” to alcohol.

    On a flight this past weekend I declined dinner but the stewardess asked if I would still like wine. I politely declined, and she insisted again. I declined again, saying that it makes my jet lag worse. She insisted that my jet lag would be fine and asked “red or white?”. I declined again and asked for decaf tea. She looked demoralized for a moment and then her eyes lit up and she said, “what if I made you a nice coffee with Baileys?” We had a few lines back and forth of me saying no and her trying to push it before finally she gave up and left me with a bottle of water. She was really kind and I got the sense that she wanted to take care of people on the flight but it struck me that for her that meant giving people alcohol which made me sad.

    The second experience was that last night I cooked chilli and invited a friend who lives nearby over for dinner. She asked if I wanted wine and I told her no thanks. She showed up with a bottle of wine regardless saying she was really craving a glass of red, and offered me a glass. I said no and explained I wasn’t really drinking these days. Later that night as she left she wanted to leave me with the remainder of the bottle she had started, as if she hadn’t heard the whole thing about not drinking.

    Seeing how hard it is for people to hear the “no alcohol thank you” says a lot about quite how deeply it is embedded in the culture.

  72. An article in the Daily Mail, 28th October 2017, talks about how “5 glasses of red wine a month could help you get pregnant.”

    If you are trying to get pregnant, the current advice from the NHS is to abstain completely from alcohol.

    A study suggests that a moderate amount of red wine – no more than five glasses a month – could actually boost the chances of conceiving.

    White wine, beer, spirits or more than five glasses of red wine a month did not have the same effect.

    Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US set out to examine the effect of alcohol on fertility because previous findings were ‘conflicting’.

    The objective of their study was to determine if alcohol intake is associated with ovarian reserve as determined by AFC, Antral Follicle Count – the standard way of assessing a woman’s fertility.

    They were unsure about how exactly red wine might boost ovarian health, but said it could be that it contains the anti-inflammatory compound resveratrol.

    The study was done on 135 women aged 18-44.

    Was there any point to this study as it doesn’t reach statistical significance?

    We have hundreds of millions of women of child bearing age and yet this study was done on only 135 women.

    Can a study like this ever be representative of all?

    Also, this study produced a lot of results that were ‘maybe’s’, ‘might be’s’ and ‘unsure’s’ – no confirmations either way which asks the question, should this study have been published?

    Is it possible that the newspapers need to be more responsible when printing articles like this?

    Is it possible that this study could influence women to drink more alcohol?

    Who actually comes up with this research?

    Is it possible that wine producers have some influence over this research?

    Is any research free of influence?

    We are given contradictory information, with some professionals saying that exposure to alcohol by a developing foetus may cause irreversible developmental damage but at the same time stating it is OK for women trying to conceive to drink six units of alcohol a week.

    Giving contradictory information, does not make it easy for those that want to make the right choices.
    Is it possible that this just highlights the irresponsibility that goes into decision making?

  73. Flying premium economy on planes, they bring round a tray before take off, offering sparkling wine and water.

    Looking around, most people take the wine. Watching how they take it is super-interesting. It’s like ‘oh go on then, what a treat, I can really relax now’.

    Alcohol is a diuretic – it acts on the kidneys to make you urinate out more than you drink. Flights are known to be de-hydrating experiences – why would you add to this?

    There is an unpleasant smell in the cabin after the glasses have been collected – the smell of bad wine breath as the body processes it.

  74. Last night I spoke with some people about the fact that I do not drink alcohol.

    It was very easy to share as I have not drank alcohol now for about 7 years.

    I was asked the question don’t you miss it and I could honestly say No and that the Truth is I became very aware that I would start to feel ill after drinking just a glass of wine like I’d drank 10. That was the sign for me that my body was saying No – I had a similar experience re stopping smoking cigarettes.

    So in saying No, I don’t miss drinking alcohol I could confidently share that my body is now of greater value to me and so I won’t allow toxins like alcohol into it at all.

  75. An article in the Independent, 7th September 2017, talks about the “Alcohol industry accused of ‘downplaying’ risk of cancer form drinking too much.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/alcohol-cancer-risk-health-downplayed-too-much-drinking-claims-a7935441.html

    Researchers said one of the most important findings was that the industry appeared to specifically omit or misrepresent evidence in breast and colorectal cancer.

    The study, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) with Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet say: The industry is using “denying, distortion and distraction” strategies to minimise evidence in activities that have parallels with those of the tobacco industry.

    Researchers anaylised information relating to cancer on the websites and documents of almost 30 alcohol industry organisations between September and December last year, finding that most showed “some sort of distortion and misrepresentation” of evidence.

    The industry most commonly presented the relationship between alcohol and cancer as highly complex, implying there was no evidence of a consistent or independent link.

    Other tactics include denying that any relationship existed or claiming that there was no risk for light or moderate drinking, as well as presenting alcohol as just one risk among many.

    The researchers said one of their most important findings was that the industry appeared to specifically omit or misrepresent evidence on breast and colorectal cancer, possibly because they were among the most common cancers.

    In light of the findings, they urged policymakers and public health bodies to reconsider their relationship with the industry, which is involved in developing alcohol policy and disseminating health messages to the public in many countries.

    Alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for a range of cancers including oral cavity, liver, breast and colorectal cancers and accounts for about 4% of new cancer cases annually in the UK.

    There is limited evidence that alcohol consumption protects against some cancers, such as renal and ovarian cancers, but in 2016 the UK’s Committee on Carcinogenicity concluded that the evidence is inconsistent and the increased risk of other cancers as a result of drinking alcohol outweighs any possible decreased risk.

    The Professor of Public Health at the LSHTM and the study’s lead author said: “The weight of scientific evidence is clear – drinking alcohol increases the risk of some of the most common forms of cancer, including several common cancers. Public awareness of this risk is low and it has been argued that greater public awareness, particularly the risk of breast cancer, poses a significant threat to the alcohol industry. Our analysis suggests that the major global alcohol producers may attempt to mitigate this by disseminating misleading information about cancer through their ‘responsible drinking’ bodies.”

    He added: “Existing evidence of strategies employed by the alcohol industry suggest that this may not be a matter of simple error. This has obvious parallels with the tobacco industry’s decades-long campaign to mislead the public about the risk of cancer, which also use front organisation and corporate social activities.”

    The chief executive of the Institute of Alcohol Studies said: “This report shows that, like the tobacco industry before them, alcohol companies are misleading consumers about the evidence linking their products to cancer.”

    The chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK said: “With only one in ten people aware of the risk between alcohol and cancer, people have both a need and a right to clear information about the health risks of drinking alcohol.”

    He goes on to say: “The time has come to stop relying on voluntary agreements with an alcohol industry that is putting profits before people’s health.”

    This last sentence says it all really.

    The knowledge that alcohol, like tobacco, contributes to cancer and other health implications has been known for a long time, so why HAS nothing, or why IS nothing, being done about it?

    Why are we relying on a profit-driven industry to promote public health?

    Is it possible that those that have the authority to change policy do not do so because the truth is that they also need alcohol to ‘take the edge off’?

    Government’s and health authorities are not doing enough to change the public’s awareness on the true harm that alcohol causes at the same time as bemoaning the fact that alcohol related conditions are increasing year on year.

    Alcohol is a scientific proven poison – Do we really need to go any further than this immutable truth?

  76. Metro News – 3 November 2017

    Illegal traders in Ecuador selling contaminated alcohol.

    16 people died.
    21 people under medical observation.

    880 gallons seized.

    We could say – not our country so it is nothing to do with us.

    OR we could ask – how on earth is this going on and WHY?

    Who would want to buy contaminated alcohol for personal consumption?

    WHY is there an illegal trade for this in the first place?

    Can we stop just blaming the supplies and take a look at the demand?
    Think about it, if there were no customers for this dodgy poison called ‘contaminated alcohol’ then these rogue traders would have no one to sell it to and would be out of business.

    So if we join the dots, it is the punters who want it cheap cheap and bingo someone creates something, regardless of the harm to human life just to make money and here we have business.

    If these people did not die, would this illegal trade have come to light?

    Is this a one off or can we get real and admit it is probably a tip of the iceberg?

    Can we even enter the thought that it is probably happening in other parts of the world?

    What is going on for people that is wanting them to take a scientifically proven poison we call alcohol in the first instance?

    What is it about us humans that overrides all sense of Responsibility and gets into this cycle of harm because let’s face it, no one is winning and the way we are behaving is not getting any better?

    Is it time to read blogs like this and gain a deeper understanding of the true harm of alcohol and all the related ills it brings to the human body and society as a whole?

  77. An article in ‘The Telegraph’, 6th December 2017, talks about “Notorious House of Commons bar shut after member of staff is ‘glassed’ in fight with another pass holder.”

    The incident took place outside the bar and reportedly involved two men aged 57 and 64 years old.

    A bar on the House of Commons estate has been closed temporarily after a fight broke out which left one member of staff seriously injured after allegedly being glassed.

    A House of Lords spokesperson said in a statement: “Following an incident on the Parliamentary Estate last night involving two parliamentary staff, after leaving the Sports and Social Bar, an investigation is under way and the bar will be temporarily closed until that investigation is complete.”

    The bar, notorious for cheap alcohol and heavy drinking, is frequented by young parliamentary aides and older members of staff who work on the estate managing the grounds and carrying out maintenance work.

    There have been calls for the Sports, as it is known by staff, to be closed after the drinking culture in the Houses of Parliament was blamed for a number of sexual assaults.

    An unofficial guide written for House of Commons staff warns: “Watch out for the karaoke night on a Thursday, not something you want to end up in by mistake.”

    Last month it was announced that the bar would no longer be run by an outside company but by House of Commons staff in a bid to control rowdy behaviour.

    New restrictions on guests and opening hours were also introduced and Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons said: “There should be no place here on the estate, or in our constituency offices, where people can be abused or their allegations not taken seriously.”

    It came after a former bar manager said she was pestered by MP’s for sex while working here. She told another newspaper that some MP’s “spent all day boozing and fancied their chances because they thought they were very important people.”

    As alcohol has shown once again, it does not discriminate where age is concerned.

    It doesn’t matter how old we are, we all succumb to the lack of inhibitions that follows when we drink alcohol.

    Irrespective of where we work and what job we do, alcohol and work should never be allowed to mix.

    The fact that the bars are subsidised just adds to the likelihood that this ‘drinking culture’ will be abused.

    As a driver of Heavy Goods Vehicles and London Buses, I was never allowed to drink and drive, for obvious good reasons.

    Of course, those in Parliament or the House of Commons won’t be in charge of any large vehicles that could harm anybody but they are in charge of the policies that they bring into Law.

    Is it possible, with the ease that alcohol is available, that these policies may be influenced by someone drinking alcohol?

    If so, is it possible that these policies have the potential to affect a huge number of people?

    Whatever our views are on alcohol and whether we drink alcohol or not, the fact remains, alcohol takes us away from who we are and alters our natural state.

    When that happens, anything can happen.

    1. Thank you for sharing this very valuable information Tim.

      We seem to have this ill perception that those that run countries are squeaky clean or are to be looked up to, but reading what you have shared here and various other news stories over the years about Government officials, this is very far from the truth.

      I remember reading a news story a few months ago about the appalling and lavish behaviour of high ranking government officials. Copious amounts of alcohol, receiving large daily allowances for doing nothing and snoozing amongst debates were some of the behaviours described.

      There was even one report of a man who resigned due to drunk and disorderly behaviour who was then later given an important ministerial role.

      Others have received 6 figure sums in expenses for doing nothing.
      When we consider the fact that many of these roles are paid for through Tax Payers money, what are we actually paying for and endorsing?

      Much of Tax Payers money goes towards subsidising these ministerial bars and restaurants and so are we supporting irresponsible policy makers and why?

      Very important questions for me to consider. It would be great to have ministers who do not use drugs or alcohol, that take care of themselves and take their role seriously. I would definitely vote for ministers that have this level of integrity.

  78. Daily Mail – 6 May 2017

    A retired Urologist called the NHS the “National Hangover Service”.

    £2.7 billion a year is the cost to the National Health Service for treating ALCOHOL ABUSE.

    £1 billion a year on Ambulances and A&E services to look after drunks.

    25% increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions in last decade.

    This is not about youngsters but all too often those that society call ‘wise and respectable’ adults in their 30s 40s and even 50s.

    How serious is this and where is this going to end?

    What is it about us that when it comes to alcohol, we seem to get away with things?
    But are we really getting away with anything?

    Is our caring Health System taking on this burden because we expect it?

    Are we abusing our unique National Health Service because we know we can?

    WHY are decent so called ‘wise and respectable’ citizens behaving in this way?

    Are we going to wait for more studies and more funding (that we clearly don’t have) to tell us this cannot continue?

    Are we as individuals going to be serious when it comes to taking Responsibility for all our choices in life?

    Are we going to ask the question WHY we need to drink to the point where we end up in hospital?

    Are we going to consider applying what is being presented in this blog anything that makes sense to us?

    Are we going to continue on our downward, out of control behaviour, because others are doing it and so that somehow makes it ok?

    Are we looking at the annual cost of £2,700,000,000 and could this money be wisely spent on where our health system needs it?

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