Alcohol has been in the news again. BMA Scotland published a study showing that alcohol was a factor in 6 per cent of all GP consultations. The health risks of alcohol are well known amongst professionals, with alcohol strongly linked to cancers and mental illness as well as the liver disease, the disease most strongly linked to alcohol in the minds of the public.
However the huge number of different messages may be confusing. What is the risk of alcohol causing different diseases? is it better to drink a little every day or a lot at once? is it ok to drink so long as you don’t drink so much that you feel drunk?
The simple facts are – the more you drink the more you are at risk! Other than the benefits of reduced risk of cardiovascular disease at very low levels of consumption (about 1 unit per day), the relationship is basically linear. Increase in volume equals increase in risk. It makes no difference whether you feel drunk, whether you have a hangover, whether you drink 6 drinks on one night or 3 drinks over 2 nights.
At 2020health we feel that the government needs to stop focusing just on the binge drinkers and those drink driving or underage and put out clear messages to all. Alcohol can harm all of us, even if we’re just drinking at home with our dinner.