Dear World

End of yet another year and the following report card gives us a reminder of what has been going on around the world this year.




900 join a gang in 2020

58% increase in gang membership

main factor for joining gangs – sense of Family or brotherhood (1)



30,000 women in the UK propositioned with ‘sex for rent’ since March lockdown.

Free accommodation for sex continues, as no arrest or prosecutions yet (2)



18 – 24 age say Porn is the most helpful source of information on how to have sex.

Misunderstanding that free online pornography cannot teach (3)



6 million people received antidepressants during pandemic

Calls to mental health helplines reach an all time high (4)



50% using cannabis for pain –
experience multiple withdrawal symptoms

Worsening changes to sleep, mood, mental state, energy and appetite

Perception of cannabis as “harmless” is not correct (5)









Mexico to create world’s largest legal Cannabis market

Reform includes recreational use of Marijuana (7)



Conflict between separated/divorced parents, increases risk of children developing physical and mental health problems.

Fear of abandonment persistent when parents engage in conflict (8)



850 tonnes of general waste from 28 December to 3 January

Bin collectors out at 1:30am – backlog created over Christmas as more shopped online. (9)



Earthquake 6.2 magnitude – history of earthquakes and tsunamis

2018 – 2,000 killed

2004 -170,000 killed (10)



2 tons of cocaine seized – hidden in charcoal shipment
Large scale drugs smuggling network with connections in Brazil and Paraguay.

Cryptocurrencies used to hide money (11)


Abuse against women rising during lockdown

Attempt to leave – high risk of physical violence

Emails to abuse helplines up 6 fold – April 2020
Rise in non-physical abuse



Rise in children’s screen time has increased dramatically

Rise in sleep and eyesight problems also linked to increased use of digital devices. (13)



3 fold increase in prevalence of short sightedness among 6 – 8 year olds in 2020.

Data from 120,000 children – Jama Ophthalmology (13)



Website and app use up more than 100% compared to last January (13)



Researchers found those who smoke 1 – 4 cigarettes or less per day meet nicotine addiction criteria.

Even light smokers may not escape nicotine addiction
New Study (14)


Lack of Sleep Stress and pre-existing Mental Health Problems
Symptoms resemble concussion – National Study



1 in 5 adults face mental health problems middle age
New Study

Generation X born in 1970 experienced the highest consistent rates of mental ill health during adulthood. (16)



Physically active lifestyle cannot negate deleterious effects of overweight or obesity – linked with worse heart health.
New Study

Exercise does not seem to compensate for the negative effects of excess weight.
One cannot be ‘fat but healthy’ (17)



Anxious population –
Stress-drinking behind closed doors due to boredom

Liquor stores deemed “essential” remain open in pandemic

Vast damage alcohol does to society – from health effects to sexual violence (18)



Heart Month – February 2021
National Institutes of Health – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Atrial Fibrillation – risk of stroke 5 times higher

Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the world. (19)

Effects of alcohol can be immediate, triggering irregular heart rhythm

Atrial Fibrillation

Long History of Evidence Now

New Gold Standard Research (20)



Children’s Mental Health Week 2021

Suicide – 2nd leading cause of death age 10 – 17

70,000 children prescribed antidepressants (21)



World Cancer Day – 4 February 2021

17 people die every minute from cancer worldwide (22)



National Wear Red Day – 5 February 2021

American Heart Month
Goal: Eradication of Heart Disease and Stroke
Atrial Fibrillation (23)



International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
6 February 2021 – United Nations

FGM comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring female genitalia for non-medical reasons. (24)



Rise in skin cancer rocketed – five fold in males

250% rise in incidence rates for skin cancer in females

New study | data analysed 265,000 people with skin cancer over 38 years (25)


Safer Internet Day – 9 February 2021

Cyberbullying | Revenge Pornography | Sextortion | Hate Bloggers |

Internet Trolling | Phishing | Pharming | Dark Web (26)


Drug smuggler swallowed 93 packages of Cocaine (27)


Sex worker swallowed 101 packages of Cocaine

At every level throughout the chain – criminals engaged in violence and exploitation.
National Crime Agency, UK (28)



Heart Disease deaths rising in young women
New Study


Obesity contributes to 50% of new Diabetes cases annually
New Study

31 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes (30)



Self harm hospital admissions in teenage girls

Triples in 10 years

Worrying rise in the proportion of children with mental health issues (31)



Preeclampsia – leading cause of pregnancy related deaths in the world.

High blood pressure, headaches, nausea and vomiting – all warning signs of preeclampsia – can lead to strokes, seizures, organ failure and death. (32)



Obesity now bigger killer than smoking
New Research (33)



Heart failure cases data 195 countries | 27 years –

New study challenges common view that heart disease is fully under control.
Despite progress achievements – global burden significantly growing. (34)



Cook County – Chicago

Black Suicides – highest total in over a decade

40% of these deaths involve a gun (35)



£184 million | 2,300 kg Cocaine
found in banana boxes from Columbia

5 million drug deals taken off the streets



Eating more refined grains linked to higher risk of major cardiovascular disease, stroke and death.
New Study

Pasta | Noodles | Cereals | Cakes | Croissants (37)



Ethiopia authorities confirm widespread rape

Sexual abuse since fighting began in November 2020

Victims identified abusers as allied soldiers and federal forces

Many rapes unreported (38)



Depression Anxiety Loneliness
Highest levels in college students


Soldiers exposed to explosives – higher risk of Alzheimer’s
Even without traumatic brain injuries

Those returning from War zones still suffer persistent depression and headaches. (40)



Pre-diabetes linked to worse brain health

Increased risk of cognitive decline and vascular dementia

New research study – data analysed 500,000 people (41)



Eating Disorders Awareness Week – 1 – 7 March

Binge Eating Disorder – most common but least understood

Serious mental disorder – can lead to Obesity, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.



Increased number of teenagers suffering from Depression due to the pandemic and lockdown.
New Study

32% have trouble with Sleep

Mental Health – British Teenagers in crisis
Nervous, anxious or on edge most days (43)


38.9% age 18–30 addicted to smartphones

53.9% use phone after midnight

68.7% have sleep problems (44)



World Obesity Day – 4 March 2021

Obesity has tripled since 1975

38 million children under 5 are overweight or obese

Obesity is preventable – World Health Organization (45)


923 million tonnes of food waste every year

70% of all food waste is from our home

690 million people affected by hunger in 2019 (46)



Problem Gambling Awareness Month – March 2021

Theme: Awareness + Action (47)



International Women’s Day – 8 March 2021 (48)

1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence – World Health Organization

99% victims in the commercial sex industry are women and girls


Gambling Disorder Screening Day
9 March 2021

International Movement to Identify Gambling Disorder –
Financial, emotional, social, physical harms – many cases undetected (51)

$565 Billion – Global Gambling Market expected to reach next year 2022 (52)



National No Smoking Day – 10 March 2021

First medical reports linked smoking to cancer in the 1920s

World Health Organization state 8 million die from smoking each year (53)


National Feet Week – 8 – 14 March 2021
Prioritise Foot Health

Diabetes – risk developing serious feet problems (54)



World Kidney Day – 11 March 2021 (55)

1 in 10 worldwide have Kidney Disease

3 million in the UK have Chronic Kidney Disease

37 million have Chronic Kidney Disease in USA

Main causes of Chronic Kidney Disease are Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.


Salt Awareness Week – 8 – 14 March 2021 (59)

75% salt we eat is added by the food industry

Hidden salt in ketchup, soy sauce and salad dressing

Salt raises blood pressure


Exhaustion linked with increased risk of Heart attack in men

74% with High Blood Pressure had vital exhaustion –

  • Excess fatigue
  • Increased irritability
  • Feelings of demoralisation (62)



Police seize homemade narcotic submarine + hundreds of kilos of cocaine, marijuana, hashish. (63)



Global Recycling Day – 18 March 2021 (64)

11 billion items of packaging wasted every year in Britain from lunch on the go – most not recycled. (65)


World Sleep Day – 19 March 2021

To educate the world about the importance of sleep for achieving an optimal quality of life and improve global health. (66)


International Day of Happiness – 20 March 2021 (67)

47% age 11 – 16 felt unhappy
41% felt anxious


World Oral Health Day – 20 March 2021 (69)

50% worldwide affected by oral diseases (70)

60 – 90% children have tooth decay globally (71)

50 million school hours lost due to poor oral health (72)

Main causes of gum disease – poor oral hygiene and tobacco use (73)



National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week | 22 – 28 March 2021 (74)



Endometriosis Awareness Month

200 million women worldwide affected by endometriosis (75)

30 – 50% experience infertility (76)

$9.7 billion annual cost Australia (77)

£8.2 billion a year cost UK economy (78)



Tobacco | Alcohol | Amphetamine | Cocaine | Cannabis

Recreational users – early heart attack and stroke

Use of 4 or more substances –
9 x higher risk for early heart disease greater in young women

New Study – Data – 1.2 million patients (79)


Soldiers exposed to military explosives – high risk of Alzheimer’s

Even those without traumatic brain injuries from blasts

Many return from War zones suffering Headaches and Depression (80)


Stroke risk highest among American Indians with or without Atrial Fibrillation

This population has the highest incidence of Atrial Fibrillation (81)


Children exposed to Tobacco smoke – risk High Blood Pressure

More likely to start smoking

Pandemic has increased Tobacco Marijuana smoking indoors (82)



Instant death from Heart Attack more common with no exercise
New Study

Couch potato lifestyles affect risk of death
Even low physical activity is beneficial (83)



Mobile Gambling to avoid boredom and for social interaction can lead to problem gambling New Study  

Mobile apps are found to promote a form of gambling, which is more impulsive and habitual in nature. (84)



Air pollution kills 160,000 in toxic cities –
Mexico City | Delhi | Sao Paulo | Tokyo | Shanghai

$85 billion economic losses

Air pollution kills 7 million every year
World Health Organization (85)



World’s largest number of smokers

Online sales ban on E-Cigarette products to prevent children from buying

Growing medical evidence – vaping harmful to health as cigarette smoking



Organised crime gangs grooming 6 year old children to steal cars

Similar to county lines drug runners – lured with cash | clothing | trainers

39,635 offences committed by children | 40% are under age 15 (87)


Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – April 2021

Bowel Cancer – 2nd most common cause of cancer death
Majority diagnosed at a late stage

16,000 die every year in the UK from Bowel Cancer

42% are not aware of any Bowel Cancer symptoms (88)



National Dental Hygienist’s Week 4 – 10 April 2021

Periodontal Disease – strong significant link to systemic diseases (89)

$54 billion worldwide – loss of productivity (89)

Alcohol | Tobacco | Sugar – contributing factors
World Health Organization




77% increase in self-generated abuse material


Record breaking scale of child sex abuse imagery on the Internet (91)


SCOTLAND – Unwanted Pets

 7,000 animals taken into care  

214 incidents attended daily

130% rise in calls to animal welfare | 136,000 calls in 2020

Illegal puppy trade sales boom (92)


Antipsychotic prescriptions rising faster than rates of psychosis
New Study

Antipsychotic medication use doubled

Common experience hearing voices (93)



100 billion tons of resources enter the economy

8.6% gets recycled 

We need 1.5 earths to sustainably support our current resource use

100 billion cubic metres of water used per year in textile production

$460 billion wearable clothes thrown away (94)



40% rise in Suicide rate of 16 – 64 year olds in past 20 years

24% physicians felt suicidal and one suicides every day

Medical students and doctors
Depression | Anxiety | Loneliness | Alcohol and Drug Abuse (95)



Major drug bust – 4.4 crore seized – Narcotics
Cocaine | Marijuana | MDMA crystals | Ecstasy pills (96)



Music videos marketing vaping products to teenagers works
New Study

Research shows young people watch videos repeatedly and share them with friends

Music videos receive billions of views making product placement effective


49% those who eat Take Out meals have higher risk of mortality
New Study

Risk of Heart Disease | Type 2 Diabetes | High Blood Pressure (98)



50% smokers are smoking more often due to pandemic stress

Loneliness and boredom have boosted smoking rates

39% age 18 – 34 smoke more regularly (99)


42% E-cigarette users are vaping more regularly – sales continue to grow

69% say respiratory health is more important now than before pandemic (100)



$25 million – 200 tonnes illegal harvested giant clam shells seized

One of the largest hauls of endangered species

Used as replacement for ivory in jewellery

Taking the giant clams from their natural habitat is a form of intergenerational crime.
Jovic Fabello, Spokesman – Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (101)



Electric scooter sales rising but illegal on public roads

184% increase with retailers

E-scooters are banned to use anywhere except private land (102)


70% more at risk of having consecutive miscarriages for Obese Women (103)


Pandemic restrictions resulting in –

4.7 million waiting for routine operations

Thousands missing cancer diagnosis due to disruption caused by pandemic (104)



New large-scale study

Living near US toxic waste site impacts health – cancer | birth defects

1300 superfund sites in USA (105)



Teenagers’ mental health – major study

Depression and anxiety more than doubled during the pandemic

80% increase in social media and smartphone use

Profound effect on sleep patterns (106)



Heart patients advised movement to avoid heart attacks and strokes

Large study – European Society of Cardiology

Sedentary – start with walking says lead author (107)



Police arrest biggest and violent drugs gang

600kg cocaine | €700,000 cash
Weapons and expensive cars seized

Drugs lawyer carried out legal duties organisation including money laundering. (108)



Rise in illegal sleeping pills and anxiety drugs online

Risk of addiction and overdose (109)



Household chores could prevent dementia
New Study

Cleaning | Tidying | Cooking shows greater brain size

50 million people have dementia globally
10 million cases every year – World Health Organization (110)



300% increase in stalking reports in London during the pandemic
Metropolitan Police

Face masks difficult to identify stalker

Online stalking also on the rise – frequency and intensity (111)



Stigma around menstrual health in teenage girls is Global

20% age 10 – 18 too embarrassed going to school when they have a period (112)



Manufacture of the drug Captagon is a growth industry so big, it is starting to rival the GDP of the flatlining economy.

Network of untouchables
Militia Leaders | Political Figures | Crime Families (113)



Bans Lebanon produce after 5.3 million Captagon pills found in pomegranate crates. (114)



Captagon is an Amphetamine manufactured in Lebanon

Local currency dived 85% on black market

Half the country live in poverty – worst economic crisis (114)



Illicit arms found on a ship in the Arabian Sea

Weapons include – Anti-Tank Missiles, Assault Rifles, Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles, Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launchers. (115)



Miscarriage increases further pregnancy losses – Quadruples the risk of Suicide.

40% higher miscarriage rates in black women


New research study – 4.6 million pregnancies’ data used (116)



Cardiovascular Disease leading cause of death among women worldwide –
The Lancet

New Study – this disease in women remains:

  • under-studied
  • under-recognised
  • under-diagnosed
  • under-treated (117)



There is no safe amount of alcohol consumption

Even moderate drinking is harmfull to the brain

New Study – 25,378 people (118)



The new international crime organisations made Marbella centre of operations.

Violence rises | Police lag far behind | Organised crime is invisible

113 criminal groups representing 59 different nationalities (119)



Women suffering increased unconscious wakefulness
Stress, Obesity and Alcohol increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

Study 8,000 people published in the European Heart Journal (120)



51% men currently drink more alcohol
46% women and people of all ages have increased their drinking

39% smoking adults are smoking more
44% age 60+ are smoking more (121)



Diet drinks no better than sugary versions

Significant link to higher risk of cardiovascular mortality (122)


More children forced to join armed groups in conflict zones as families face increased poverty due to pandemic – United Nations

7,740 child soldiers were recruited in 2019 – age 6+
Fighters, cooks, sexual exploitation in 14 countries (123)



$2.5 – $8.5 trillion globally estimated to contribute to economic output losses – projected to double by 2030 (124)



1.1 billion smokers – New Study

89% new smokers addicted by age 25

1.7 million deaths linked to smoking 2019 (125)


High dairy intake linked to increase risk of ovarian and prostate cancer

60% increased risk of hip fracture for women who drink 3 glasses of milk per day. (126)



Fatty heart increases risk of Heart Failure regardless of your weight

Being thin does not equal a healthy heart – Large New Study (127)



Deaths from alcohol misuse hit 20 year high
England and Wales

Alcohol consumption in high risk drinkers increased during pandemic
Office of National Statistics

80% of alcohol specific deaths in 2020 were alcoholic liver disease (128)



Global Drug Survey – Independent Research

Use of Drugs in last year:

  • 94% Alcohol
  • 64% Cannabis
  • 60% Tobacco
  • 37% MDMA
  • 31% CBD
  • 31% Cocaine
  • 29% E-Cigarettes

Most common – psychedelic/dissociative drugs
Darknet drugs rising with new users (129)



Cartels target Europe with Cocaine Corruption & Torture
Largest police operation ever

€1.4 billion value | 27 tonnes of cocaine seized

1 kilogram is worth $40,000 in Europe (130)



World Heart Rhythm Week – 7 – 13 June 2021

100,000 sudden cardiac deaths each year
More than breast and lung cancer combined

30% children and 40% adults with epilepsy – misdiagnosed

Many have an underlying heart rhythm disorder (131)



Crystal Meth use rises during lockdown

Business booming as more young people, some at school use methamphetamines.

90% are unemployed (132)



Increase in 2020 – cultivation and production of cannabis

41% more cases referred to court

Police forces now monitoring the entire territory across the nation (133)



800 arrests worldwide –
Global crime sting drug gangs and those linked to the Mafia 

App secretly distributed allowing police to monitor drug smuggling, money laundering and plots to murder.

Biggest law enforcement operation against encrypted communication (134)


World Day Against Child Labour

1 in 10 children in Child Labour Worldwide

72 million in Africa
62 million Asia Pacific Region (135)


Child labour rises 160 million worldwide

9 million more forced into child labour due to pandemic

46 million no access to social protection

Significant rise in children age 5 – 11 (136)



200 Mafia members in the underworld arrested
Largest ever crime sting

21 murder plots uncovered
$45 million cash and assets
3,000 kg drugs seized (137)



Industrial size cocaine laboratory found by police and swat

Vehicles fitted secret compartments to smuggle across Europe

€3.4 million cash seized (138)


Italy | Albania | Kosovo – INTERNATIONAL OPERATION

400kg cocaine + ammunition seized

€100 million retail value (139)



15 fold rise in scams

42 Fake NHS covid apps | Fake vaccine shops

700,500 campaigns taken down = 1,448,214 URLs

HM Revenue & Customs most copied brand (140)



1st World Health Organization report on E-Waste | Child Health

Informal process discarded electrical and electronic devices

18 million children and adolescents age 5 + work in informal industrial sector, of which waste processing is a part.

12.9 million women working in the informal waste sector

53.6 million metric tonnes E-waste generated (141)



Teenage homicides – London on track for worst year ever

Increase in teenage murders – majority were knife killings (142)



Police seize cocaine HK $930 million
Smuggled into city on speedboats (143)



Southwest airlines delaying serving alcohol again on flights after increase in incidents.

477 incidents of misconduct in one week (144)



200,000 people – Longitudinal Study 

Highest level of Loneliness – young people under age 30 and those with history of mental illness. (145)



World Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict – 19 June 2021
United Nations

Chronic under reporting due to:
Fear of Reprisal
Lack of Services

Invest in public welfare rather than instruments of warfare (146)



County lines gangs exploiting children age 8 to deal drugs to move weapons and hide cash.

Gangs identify victims on social media and blackmail them

Girls passed around gang members for sex as rewards for dealing (147)



Heroin consumed at primary schools

55,000 injecting | $150 million business

Rise in Addiction – Heroin 2nd most consumed drug in the country (148)



Gun violence rate soared due to organised criminal gangs

Rise in domestic violence in women (149)



2nd biggest producer of cocaine – common drug traffickers to bribe officials.

Indigenous communities in central Amazon experience an increase in violence, threats and harassment as drug gangs target their land. (150)



Narcotics seized €100 million – Interpol Operation

  • 973 Cocaine bricks
  • 17 tonnes Cannabis resin
  • 200kg Amphetamines
  • 56kg Heroin
  • 5 million tramadol tablets (151)



Interpol shut down thousands of fake online pharmacies

92 countries involved – 710,000 packages checked

9 million illicit pharmaceuticals and medical devices seized

Illicit drugs hidden in toys, clothes, food and baby products

113,020 web links removed or closed down (152)



51% increase in suicide attempts among teenage girls

Surge in self-harm and hospitalisations from poor mental health

31% increase in psychiatric related hospital visits among young people.

Global trend in teenagers seeking to escape the toll of Government lockdown (153)


PTSD Awareness Month – June 2021                                 

224 million Americans experiences a traumatic stress event
44 million will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

50% of all mental health patients diagnosed with PTSD (154)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is commonly undiagnosed (155)


Butler County, Ohio – largest drug bust ever

$2.5 million in narcotics, weapons and cash seized

75,000 THC Vape cartridges
40 pounds of mushrooms
Multiple packs of candy edibles (156)



Interpol operation in Asia Pacific Region

Investment fraud | Romance scams | Online sextortion | Voice phishing

Money laundering associated with illegal online gambling
$83 million in illicit funds intercepted | 585 arrested | 1,600 bank accounts frozen. (157)



Illegal gun trade – serious trafficking despite pandemic

200,000 illicit firearms, parts, components, ammunition, explosives recovered.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime & Interpol Operation

27 cocaine labs across Bolivia destroyed

21 tonnes of cocaine and marijuana seized (158)



Karnataka police to burn drugs worth RS 50 Crore (1 crore = 10 million)

Actual seizure more but Courts have only permitted a stipulated amount for destruction

5,291 arrested | 24,000 kg marijuana plus MDMA Cocaine Heroin Amphetamine LSD (159)



18 bodies found – drug cartel shootout at key trafficking point

Drug cartels hang bodies of victims from overpass – message to rivals or authorities.

19 killed in cartel violence
15 of the victims not involved in crime (160)



Interpol target cybercriminals and Internet fraud

$10.5 trillion cybercrime cost to Global economy

$2.7 million stolen – each act of internet fraud on businesses

4.5 billion people online – half at risk of cybercrime (161)



Narcotics Control Bureau seize contraband worth Rs 2 crore

Anti-depressant drug manufacturing and trafficking network across 3 states

Widely used as a cutting agent for illicit toddy, causing serious health issues and death. (162)



455 abusive attacks on retail staff daily

Violence and abuse – surge in incidents exacerbated by pandemic

£1.2 billion cost on crime prevention (163)

12 million offences include fraud and computer misuse

9.7 million victims of crime (164)


58% teeth whitening products bought online contained illegal dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide.

Chemical burns
Gum damage
Tooth loss (165)



Police shut down one of the world’s largest websites for child sex abuse images.

400,000 international subscribers only accessible via the dark net (166)



Athletes at higher risk of irregular heart rate

Younger athletes – greater risk of atrial fibrillation 

New research study – British Journal of Sports Medicine (167)


Age 50+ during pandemic

Physical deterioration – lack of movement
Mental Health and Social Isolation increasing

New Research (168)



Alcohol use has substantially higher cancer risk
World Health Organization

Increased risk evident even among light-moderate drinkers

1 in 7 of all new cancer cases in 2020 | 100,000 cases worldwide (169)



 7,000 new cancer cases linked to alcohol (169)



Deaths directly caused by alcohol hit record levels in 2020

20% rise in alcohol related deaths

12.6 million Extra litres of alcohol sold in shops

More binge drinking at home
Public Health England (170)


San Diego, California

200% rise in Fentanyl overdose deaths during pandemic

50% of those who go for treatment come with Opioid Use Disorder diagnoses

A very small amount of Fentanyl can kill (171)



Number of children taking anti-depressants hit all time high in lockdown

60% say pandemic will have long term negative affect on their mental health (172)


75% GP Practice staff experience daily abuse
Assaults | Threats | Racism | Sexism | Violent Reactions

80% removed the patient from practice list after multiple incidents of abuse (173)



93,331 deaths from drug overdoses 2020

Biggest increase in overdose deaths in the history of the United States

Illegal Fentanyl continues to drive death toll (174)


1 in 20 college students has internet gaming disorder – New Study

Clinical condition – compulsive use of electronics online and offline

High risk of fatigue, depression and social anxiety (175)

585% rise in methamphetamine-related heart failure hospitalisations in California.

840% rise in costs (177)

New Research Study 2008 – 2018 (176)




Seaside Towns Poor Health – Deep rooted social problems

Blackpool highest rate hospital admissions – alcohol related harm and drug deaths.

Torbay – high rates of Heart Disease and Diabetes (178)


50% rise in under 20s being admitted to hospital with eating disorders

Waiting list Treble since pandemic started (179)


Cocaine users openly filmed snorting at football matches to be banned

Prevalent among football fans – Recognised for years

Drug is driving violence disorder (180)



Anxiety, Depression, Burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus
New Study
Ohio University

Increase in unhealthy coping mechanisms – smoking and alcohol (181)



Thousands of children living in poverty

80% experience serious mental health issues including suicidal thoughts – direct result of lockdown.

41% said some had been abused at home in lockdown (182)



Modern day flower madness fuelling illegal orchid trade
Traffickers taking species from wild

Social Media thriving on illicit global market
‘Orchid influencers’ with live streams are at the heart of the modern obsession. (183)


$11 million paid by world’s biggest meat producer in cybercrime ransom

Cyber attack shut down operations in Brazil, US, Australia and Canada

$200 million spent on IT – Employs 850 tech specialists (184)


40 million people trapped in modern slavery worldwide (185)



Teachers face derogatory sexualised language, physical violence and threats from pupils.

Drugs, violence, knives and county lines all spill over into the classroom

Unreported – schools afraid of repercussions (186)



Deaths related to irregular heart rhythm on the rise – especially among younger adults.
New study – American Heart Association

12.1 million people in USA are expected to have Atrial Fibrillation by 2030 (187)



Facing Diabetes time bomb

2.5 million missed vital checks due to pandemic

41% fewer health checks by GPs in the last year (188)



Government asking – eat less meat to improve wellbeing and state of the planet.

7 million tonnes meat consumed each year

1kg beef – 15,000 litres of water used (189)



South-East Europe Heatwave
Greece, Italy, Bosnia – wildfires

Turkey – fires in 32 provinces (190)



Brazil – snow and widespread frost have damaged crops

Coffee sector cost – £69 – £83 million (190)



Under 35’s experiencing epidemic of loneliness
pandemic contributing

20% have one or no close friends
Trusting people less – New Study (191)



Pandemic caused more anxiety and depression for many people

41% increase in adults with symptoms of Anxiety or Depressive disorder

Covid – significant effect on the mental health of those on front line of health care. (192)



741,300 cancer cases globally caused by alcohol – strong evidence. (193)

Researchers say more public awareness needed to highlight the link (194)



Serious early complications from youth onset Type 2 Diabetes

66% had hypertension
50% abnormal level cholesterol

Aggressive therapy suggested – prepare for polypharmacy (195)



$23.32 billion in weapons sold to 39 countries slammed over human rights between 2011 and 2020.

Since start of the war, UK have sold bombs, missiles and grenades to Riyadh (196)



World’s worst humanitarian crisis
United Nations

24 million rely on aid
10 million near famine (196)



High impact chronic pain affects 1 in 3 young adults
New report

Factors – Obesity and inactive lifestyles

Dramatic rise in age 16 – 34
Acute pain, struggle to work, interact socially or take care of themselves (197)



7.1 magnitude earthquake

Damage and aftershocks expected

Philippines is on the geologically active pacific ring of fire and experiences frequent earthquakes. (198)



7.2 magnitude earthquake

304 killed | 1,800 injured

Towns destroyed | Hospitals overwhelmed

Tropical storm due to hit the country soon

2010 earthquake – 300,000 killed (199)



Drug and alcohol deaths hit record high
Following sharp cuts to treatment services in England and Wales

11,000 died from drug and alcohol-related diseases 2020 (200)



Eating Disorders surge in boys and young men

Pandemic – record numbers of teenagers with Eating Disorders (201)



Sewer samples reveal heroin and cannabis are most used drugs
New Study

60% seeking relief for heroin addiction (203)



Music listening near bedtime disruptive to sleep

Earworms continuing during sleep and experienced during awakenings (204)

Study shows some music can induce long lasting earworms (205)


Physician burnout

Pandemic created extraordinary stress on physicians and health professionals.

48% US doctors reported burnout 2020
38% anxiety or depression

30% high stress (206)



2.5% of total food and soft drink advertising spend goes towards fruit and vegetables.

25% workers in sector earn minimum wage in 2020

96% yoghurts 92% cereals marketed towards children
Contain medium-high levels of sugar

1 in 4 places are fast food outlets


10,000 Diabetes related amputations every year
24% increase in the past 5 years


Blackpool – drugs death fatality rate is 4 times the national average

Heroin and crack addiction

£4.95 million pilot programme to break cycle (208)



Soldiers and marines will no longer eat or drink parts of live animals
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

75% of recently emerging infectious diseases come from animals (209)



Living and working in the UK – Kingpins in operation to smuggle thousands of asylum seekers across channel in small boats.

Evaded detection from UK Law Enforcement
Laundering up to £100,000 a day (210)



Children worldwide getting exposed to hardcore porn

Children under 10 account for 10% porn traffic

90% boys in US doing porn before age 18

Average age of porn exposure today is 11 (211)


Weight loss through exercise harder for obese people – New Study

International scientists analysed 1,754 adults over decades (212)



Elderly may never recover from ‘severe’ mental and physical harms of lockdown.

16 months of isolation, immobility and loss of normal routine have left ‘deep scars’

25% were living in more physical pain

17% less steady on their feet (213)


Drug deaths in England and Wales in 2020

Highest since records began in 1993

10 fold rise in deaths from cocaine, MDMA and sleeping pills (214)


Drug deaths in Scotland reach new record level

93% deaths in 2020 – result of accidental overdoses

Polydrug habit – mixing dangerous street drugs with alcohol and prescription pills. (215)



Video Games – $18 billion dollar industry

Mobile phone gamers like to play their games –

66% when bored
41% watching TV
39% before sleep
34% on the toilet
21% on their break at work
20% whilst eating (216)



International Chocolate Day 13 September 2021

$138.5 billion – Global chocolate market 2020

Significant trend – impulse behaviour of consumers

Chocolate is the most consumed food around the world (217)



Vaping link increased eating disorder risk – new study

51,231 US students across 78 colleges/universities

22% college students reported recent nicotine vaping – 2019 (218)



78% rise in 4 years – online linked sexual crimes against children. (219)



National Physician Suicide Awareness Day
17 September 2021

One of the highest suicide rates of any profession – Physicians

61% Physicians reported burnout (220)


Young adults’ patterns of substance use is changing
Data collected since 1975

Alcohol falling – marijuana and hallucinogens rising
Decreased perception of harm

THC higher than cannabis in the 1960s
Linked to an increased risk of psychosis (221)



Over prescribing medicines – Patients being prescribed unnecessary and harmful treatments.

75% are repeat prescriptions

Growing ageing population living with multiple chronic conditions (222)



2.9 tonnes of heroin seized at Gujarat port from Afghanistan

$2.7 billion street value | Afghan Nationals involved

Afghanistan – world’s biggest producer of heroin
Supplying 80 – 90% of global output (223) 



World’s Biggest Opiate Supplier 

$8 billion over 15 years – USA spent to deprive profits from Afghanistan’s Opium and Heroin trade and the strategy failed.  (224)



Buy now, pay later industry has exploded
Government to regulate the sector

56% refused a credit card in 2020
£39 million in late fees paid
1 in 10 users chased by debt collectors
46% have sleepless nights



Government cuts time minors spend playing online video games

Under 18s one hour only – Friday weekends holidays

Move in response to growing concerns over youth video game addiction (226)



Implantable lenses popular alternative for those unsuitable for laser eye surgery.
Failing to attend regular check-ups – patients warned risk of going blind (227)



Social networks to tackle online abuse of women (228)

45% Generation Z and millennials experienced online violence

85% reported witnessing online abuse (229)


International Day of Older Persons

Loneliness on the increase worldwide

Lockdown has created anxiety among our ageing population (230)



Eating problems on the rise – mental health of children not improved since lockdown.

1 in 6 children – mental disorder 2021

58% age 17 – 19 have eating problems

25% age 11 – 16 have sleeping problems (231)



Breast Cancer – world’s most prevalent cancer

7.8 million diagnosed in the past 5 years (232)



Infants exposed to domestic violence poor cognitive development – New Study

Higher risk of health issues – trouble eating, sleeping, stress and illness

Many abused women up to 9 different partners in and after pregnancy (233)


Witnessing sibling abuse can lead to mental health issues – New Study

Traumatised same as violence by one parent against another parent
Causing depression, anxiety and anger

Linked to fear and mental health distress in youth (234)



World Food Day – 16 October 2021

$680 billion cost of food losses and waste in industrialised countries



Child sexual abuse found in most major UK religions

New report highlights the blatant hypocrisy of religions teaching right from wrong,
Yet failing to prevent or respond to child sexual abuse. (236)



1.9 million died from work related causes annually

81% accounted for by non-communicable diseases
19% Occupational Injuries

450,000 COPD
400,000 Stroke
350,000 Heart Disease (237)



Internet grooming record high –
69% rise in the last 3 years

Figures from 42 police forces across England and Wales

5,441 offences during pandemic – April 2020 to March 2021
True scale likely to be higher. (238) 



10.1 million job vacancies – record high

Workers not rushing back to jobs – labour shortage
Blame on lack of affordable childcare, generous government benefits and pandemic retirements. (239)



170% increase in pet thefts

1% dog theft crimes led to prosecution

Black market for in-demand dog fashion breeds – price tags soared in pandemic.

Stalking parks in affluent areas and luring puppies out of gardens with treats (240)



30,700 tonnes of e-waste produced by cryptocurrency mining (241)



Liver transplants due to heavy drinking – 50% higher than pre-pandemic – New Study

Alcohol Hepatitis can develop after short period of excess drinking (242)


US Drug Enforcement Administrations (FDA) issues public safety alert – sharp increase in fake prescription pills containing Fentanyl & Meth.


9.5 million counterfeit pills seized this year by DEA in every U.S. state

Fentanyl behind most opioid overdose deaths (243)


Cigarette sales up – first time in 20 years

Alcohol and smokeless tobacco sales up

203.7 billion cigarettes sold in 2020

Link to increased stress and depression rates related to pandemic (244)



Children coughing up blood after using illegal vapes – double nicotine levels compared to a packet of cigarettes.

Trading Standards seized 150 illegal vapes which look like highlighter pens (245)


International Stress Awareness Week – 1 – 5 November 2021

160,000 people | 116 countries

190 million significant higher stress in 2020

40% has stress or worry

29% experienced physical pain (246)


35% teenagers have seen drugs being sold on social media platforms

Class A substances – Cocaine and MDMA

Social Media provides ideal space for drugs to be bought and sold

Young people – biggest age group using drugs (247)



Mouth Cancer Action Month – November 2021

300,000 new cases of mouth cancer globally every year (248)



7,800 diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2020 (248)

46% of oral cavity cancer in UK preventable (249)


2,000 kg Cocaine haul – £160 million street value

County lines fuelling more drug crime (250)


Anxious Depressed people over age 50 saw a 6 year memory decline during pandemic – New Study

Loss in attention = 5 years of ageing (251)


Botox and Lip Fillers ban for under 18s – new law

‘Fox eye’ look procedure not banned

41,000 Botox style procedure carried out on under 18s – 2020 (252)



World Diabetes Day – 14 November 2021

100 years later – we have no real answers

537 million worldwide living with Diabetes (253)



Snacks sold as infant foods contain high amounts of sugar

Even sugar from added fruit juice not good for babies and toddlers

Babies learn to like sugar by eating sugary foods (254)



25% age 11 consume at least one sugary drink each day – New Study

Significant decline in test scores for pre-schoolers

1 hour after drinking 35g sugar drink = boys restless
2 hours later = downsides still apparent (255)



Broken Heart Syndrome – rise in women over 50 – New Study

Symptoms mimic a heart attack

  • Grief
  • Divorce
  • Job Loss
  • Surgery
  • Car Accident
  • Severe Pain
  • Extreme Stress (256)



World Children’s Day – 20 November 2021

2020 – more children than ever identified as victims of trafficking (257)

1 billion children experienced physical, sexual and emotional violence (258)
June 2019 – June 2020


International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women –
25 November 2021

137 women killed everyday by family member

1 in 3 women abused in their lifetime

2 in 3 women experienced some form of violence in pandemic (259)



Black Friday – 26 November 2021

$10.4 Billion – online spending expected 2021
$4.3 million – e-commerce spending 2020 (260)



£9.42 billion – consumers expected to spend (261)



South Australia police seized

$1 million cash
$700,000 of cryptocurrency
$150,000 street value – cocaine | LSD | cannabis | steroids

Dark web used to remain anonymous (262)



2021 Cocaine News

£33 million | 418kg of cocaine found hidden inside onion rings en route to UK

26 metric tonnes Cocaine and 1,434 lbs marijuana
$1.4 Billion worth seized in Florida (263)



Volume of Cocaine imported to largest port in Europe rises exponentially

Cocaine Collectors – Rotterdam Port Goldmine

Some ‘wait’ in hotel container

41,000 kg seized 2020 (264)



One third 1st year university students have moderate – severe depression or anxiety.

Illicit drug use – high risk of developing significant levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms. (265)



International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December 2021

40.3 million people are in modern slavery
1 in 4 victims are children

99% victims are women and girls in the commercial sex industry

24.9 million people trapped in forced labour (266)



80% of plastic from the Mediterranean is from land – despite deals, plans and bans.

144 metric tons enter the sea every day from Turkey – biggest contributor to plastic pollution.

€61.7 million per year – cost to the EU fishing fleet (267)



540% increase in 999 emergency call outs for e-scooters injuries

Riders drunk and injured or pedestrians mown down on street

Head injury treatments surged – riders not wearing helmets

E-scooters are illegal on public roads (268)


Drug related deaths hit record high in 2020 after rising for 8th year in a row

20% due to accidental poisoning
66% drug misuse
50% involved opiate

777 deaths involved cocaine (269)



Alcohol is one of the biggest risk factors for breast cancer (270)



40,000 new breast cancer cases caused by alcohol
World Health Organization

Europe – highest rate (270)



“Revenge Bedtime Procrastination” Phenomenon

Intention to stay up late even when tired because they want more personal free time.

90% adults admit losing sleep while on a television spree (271)



Night shift work linked to increased risk of atrial fibrillation

Exposure also increased risk of coronary heart disease

Women and lack of exercise most at risk (272)



Blood pressure levels increased during pandemic – New Study

50% Americans have High Blood Pressure

75% cases remain above recommended levels

Increased Alcohol Consumption | Less Physical Activity | Stress | Poor Sleep (273)



Border force staff offered grief counselling amid mounting Post Traumatic Stress.

Struggling to cope with experiencing mental distress

26,000 people arrived in Britain crossing the channel (274)



Heaviest drinkers in the world
Spending more time drunk in 2020 than any other nation

32,000 people surveyed in 22 countries

$3.3 billion increase alcohol sales in homes (275)



Cigarette sales up first time in 20 years

203.7 billion cigarettes sold in 2020

Responsible for 480,000 deaths per year

Rise in smoking rates could be linked to the increase in stress and depression rates. (276)



Migrant workers building stadiums returning home with Chronic Kidney Disease.

6,500 workers have died since 2010 World Cup was awarded to Qatar

Long hours, extreme hot weather, little water, no rest, few breaks (277)



Insomnia and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea are the most common sleep disorders.

Those who suffer with both likely to have heart problems

50% are more likely to die – large study 5,000 people (278)



Alcohol deaths in 2020 higher than drug related deaths

Only intervention was to ensure uninterrupted supply during pandemic

Consumers are now drinking more potent alcohol strength (279)


NHS wasting £568 million a year on un-necessary addictive pills that the majority of patients do not need.

Severe withdrawal symptoms

Doctors pushing dependency causing opioids, antidepressants and sleeping pills. (280)



Intermittent fasting can help inflammation – New Study

Inflammation associated with higher risk of developing multiple chronic diseases including Diabetes and Heart Disease. (281)



Men aged 40 – 80 are 50% more likely to die after surgery than women of the same age – New Study (282)



1.2 tonnes Cocaine seized | Street value £90 million
UK National Crime Agency – major operation

Criminal gangs target insiders within ports for access and knowledge (283)



Repetitive head impacts in sport – brain scans of former American football players reveal signs of white matter injury.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – brain conditions caused by repeated blows to the head. (284)

Former NFL Player age 38 had Stage 2 CTE

Cause of death – “Chronic Alcohol Use”

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is caused by repetitive head trauma (285)

Stage 2 symptoms include substance abuse, aggression, depression, anxiety and paranoia.  

300 NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE (286)



68 prisoners killed | 25 injured after prison riot
11 found hanged – October | 119 deaths – same jail month before

280 deaths from prison violence this year

Level of corruption so high (287)



Police in Germany’s Bavaria region destroy €270 million haul of cocaine.

1.5 metric tons were incinerated under heavy security – forces biggest operation. (288)



73% high school students getting less than recommended sleep link to poor mental health and behaviour problems.

Teenagers eating junk foods after 9pm – linked to short sleep (289)



Children with higher levels of screen time had significantly higher levels of mental health symptoms. (290)



New data released by the National Crimes Record Bureau 2020

11,716 Business people died by Suicide
93% of them were men

10,677 Farmers died by Suicide

Chief factor – pandemic (291)



Fake alcohol to make drinking safer but experts are not convinced

If alcohol was brought to market today for the 1st time – US regulators would certainly forbid it. (292)



Teenagers with parents who smoke – 4 times more likely to take up smoking
New Research (293)



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