What's your poison?

John Hamilton, Chairman at Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS) asks the question “What's your poison? Is it alcohol?” John then continued “It's Britain's deadliest drug, it costs the NHS billions each year, and shortens our lives – yes, this is the reality of alcohol.”

“In Britain we are particularly keen on drinking alcohol, in fact, so keen that our consumption has nearly doubled since the Sixties. According to the Global Drug Survey, Britons get drunk an average of once per week, and one in every ten of us are drunk on five or more days every single week!” John did not stop there. “A staggering 10.8 million of us in Britain drink at levels that pose a risk to our health, and not surprisingly, alcohol is now the leading cause of death for men aged between 16 and 54, cutting life short for around 30,000 people a year.”

“The results of this are quite clear to see – alcohol is the prime reason for our police service costing us over £6 billion per year, and the direct costs to the NHS are noted as over £3 billion per year. This is bad enough, but most of us think that the main danger from alcohol is cirrhosis of the liver. It is not! The biggest killers associated with alcohol are strokes and heart attacks, various liver diseases and at least 8 different types of cancer. It also causes brain damage and at least one in five cases of dementia.”

“So, what's to be done?” said John. “Remember all those studies that apparently showed benefits from drinking a daily glass (or two) of red wine. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the leading medical journal The Lancet has reviewed all the evidence and concluded that the protective effect on the heart is more than cancelled by negative effects such as the increased risk of cancer.” John Hamilton concluded by saying that “Reducing your intake of alcohol is the only sensible route to take, especially now that Christmas and New Year are behind us. Try a dry month without alcohol at all – you will be surprised at just how much extra money you have at the end of that month!”

“If, however you have problems with alcohol, then contact FASS for help on 01592-206200 – it can make a lot of sense!”

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