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New scientific study: No safe level of alcohol!

Published on Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (http://www.healthdata.org)  August 23, 2018.

3 million deaths in 2016 attributed to alcohol; ‘Massive health risks’

The study, published today in the international medical journal The Lancet shows that in 2016, nearly 3 million deaths globally were attributed to alcohol use, including 12 percent of deaths in males between the ages of 15 and 49.

“The health risks associated with alcohol are massive,” said Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the senior author of the study. “Our findings are consistent with other recent research, which found clear and convincing correlations between drinking and premature death, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. Zero alcohol consumption minimizes the overall risk of health loss.”

It provides findings on prevalence of current drinking, prevalence of abstention, alcohol consumption among current drinkers, and deaths and overall poor health attributable to alcohol for 23 health outcomes, such as communicable and non-communicable diseases and injuries, including:

  • Cardiovascular diseases: atrial fibrillation and flutter, hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and alcoholic cardiomyopathy;
  • Cancers: breast, colorectal, liver, esophageal, larynx, lip and oral cavity, and nasal;
  • Other non-communicable diseases: cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol use, diabetes, epilepsy, pancreatitis, and alcohol use disorders;
  • Communicable diseases: lower respiratory infections and tuberculosis;
  • Intentional injuries: interpersonal violence and self-harm;
  • Unintentional injuries: exposure to mechanical forces; poisonings; fire, heat, and hot substances; drowning; and other unintentional injuries; and
  • Transportation-related injuries.

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What Intoxication Can Feel Like!

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How Alcohol Effects the Brain

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"I do feel a sense of freedom from not drinking anymore, because it took up so much brain space," said Laura Willoughby at London's Mindful Drinking Festival, an event founded to suggest that you don't need to be paralytic to have a good time. "It's been the best decision of my life."

Check every alcohol statistic from the last couple of years and you'll see I'm not alone: lots of people seem to believe that regularly poisoning yourself for fun isn't such a good idea. In a survey by Drink Monitor, almost a fifth of respondents said they were changing their drinking behaviours, while at least two-fifths have utilised planning methods to cut down, with older drinkers sticking to old-fashioned restraint and millennials being more likely to avoid alcohol altogether.

In fact, there's been a sharp rise in teetotallers generally. According to the Office of National Statistics, there are over 2 million teetotal adults in London – 30 percent of the adult population – while nationwide it's 20.9 percent. This trend only seems to be catching on, as you'll know from the endless reports of Gen-Z (16 to 24-year-olds) supposedly swapping Stella for sobriety

A decade ago, an event like the Mindful Drinking Festival (MDF) might have been derided as some kind of puritanical love-in. But today, in this climate, in makes perfect sense. Run by Club Soda – which describes itself as a "mindful drinking movement" – the festival at Spitalfields Market this past weekend was busy with people trying the various alcohol-free drinks on offer.

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Pressure to drink from friends is the number one influencing factor in drinking alcohol in the UK, a survey has revealed.

From the 1,697 men and women questioned, a startling 85% had experienced bullying from friends to consume alcohol.

The study was done by One Year No Beer (OYNB), in collaboration with Stirling University.

“I know from personal experience how difficult it is to say no when you are being badgered into have a drink. And it’s easy to cave in under peer pressure when everyone around you is having a great time getting stuck in. It’s expected of you to drink; it goes against the grain if you don’t…why is it that it’s the people we call our friends who find it hardest of any of our relationships to accept when we say no? The One Year No Beer community aims to destroy the peer pressure around going alcohol free, and empowering people to say no, whether it’s with friends on a night out or deciding to quit alcohol for a longer period.”

– RUARI FAIRBAIRNS, OYNB CO-FOUNDER

In the Calendar region, men felt 26% more peer pressure than the UK average, with family being the biggest pressure point.

The survey also found:

  • After friends, 50% of respondents admitted to being pressured into drinking by colleagues and family, and 2 out of 5 said they get pestered into drinking by their partner.
  • Generally, men felt coerced into drinking more often than women - men’s pressure threshold is 6% higher than women’s.
  • Men are 20% more likely to get nagged into drinking by their colleagues and 37% more by their bosses.
  • Women say they feel more pressure to drink from their partners (22% more than men).
  • Adults aged between 18-45 felt more pressure to drink with friends than an older demographic, whereas men aged 55-plus were 58% more likely to drink on their own.

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