Alcohol facts are never out of the news, especially when attached to a celebrity (the Amy Winehouse tragedy being the latest) and have attracted thousands of views and opinions, not to mention untold search-engine hits. Facts about alcoholism and addiction can be found on countless websites, but somehow these alcohol facts often fall on deaf ears.
It is the same as the warning on cigarette packs. It is far too easy to just ignore. You never think that alcohol will cause you health problems and you might have heard that alcohol is right at the top, together with cancer and heart disease, of causes of death in western society, but that won’t apply to you of course!
But did you know that alcohol abuse can actually be directly linked to certain types of cancer? According to the results of a new World Health Organisation (WHO) study, involving over 363,000 men and women in eight European countries, almost one in ten cancers in men and one in thirty-three cancers in women throughout western Europe are caused by alcohol.
But this is just a statistic and you will never be a statistic. Certainly you don’t want to think about the fact that when throwing up after drinking too much alcohol, one could choke on the vomit. Most people probably didn’t even know that the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) can continue to rise after the binge is over and that sleeping it off is not always a solution.
Alcohol Facts Relating to Health
A more worrying alcohol fact: did you know that an alcohol overdose can lead to irreversible damage to the brain? Probably better to totally ignore don’t you think? But documentaries about hospitals having to cope with admissions due to drink-related problems are becoming a common sight on television.
Young people, not necessarily alcoholics, are now drinking themselves to death. An alcohol fact that you would probably rather not consider when you order that next drink on your evening out. Maybe you’ve missed those documentaries anyway, because you were in the pub drinking with your mates. Because that is what we do, don’t we?
However, I wasn’t out drinking but working on my book and even after all the interviews and information I had gathered I was rather shocked to see that more and more young people in their mid-twenties die of alcohol-related diseases, something that didn’t happen 30 years ago.
Although alcohol sales overall have dropped, alcohol-related liver diseases have risen by half in the last decade in people under thirty. The documentary continued and claimed that over the last decade, hospital admissions of young people with an alcohol-related problem have doubled.
There is a new generation of problem drinkers. Are governments doing enough to stop us drinking ourselves to death? The presenter explains that alcohol-related liver failure was something that used to kill old men, but now also young people under thirty. Thirty years ago it was extremely unusual to see the end stage of liver damage in those in their early twenties; today this has become a common sight.
Experts say it is because of our western addiction… an addiction to drinking alcohol at social events, when out with friends, during a meal and at every other possible opportunity. Young people are growing up in a new drinking culture. Millions of people are drinking too much, happy hours and cheap, readily available drinks from supermarkets are certainly part of the problem and it is costing the tax payer millions each year.
All the international evidence suggests that the price, availability and marketing definitely influence the problem but nevertheless television ads, used in programmes aimed at teenagers, show colourful images of alcoholic drinks that taste of fruit, being consumed by young adults having a great time.
I believe there is a cultural problem and yes, governments need to look at this, but tax revenues from alcohol are hardly an incentive for them, are they?
If you would like to find out more about alcohol facts and alcohol addiction click here.