Alcohol deaths at lowest since 2000

Drink-related deaths in Britain have fallen to there lowest in a decade, figures released have shown.

However, low-paid workers such as cleaners and labourers are four times more likely to die than professionals, the Office for National Statistics said.

Drink played a part in 8,416 deaths registered in the UK in 2013. The total was the lowest since 2000, when there were 6,884.

AlcoholFigures based on the 2011 census show those in working-class jobs like bar staff, cleaners and labourers have the highest death rates, at 29.5 per 100,000 men and 12.6 per 100,000 women.

Professor Oscar D’Agnone, an addictions specialist, called for minimum alcohol pricing to drive down the death rate even further.

Daily Express 12.02.2015 P. 19

“However, the ‘demon’ is still going strong”

Addicts get £400m in Sickness Benefits

Macer Hall of the Daily Express reports that drug addicts and alcoholics are being given more than  £400million a year in taxpayer-funded sickness benefits, from figures revealed yesterday.

More than 75,000 claimants are receiving up to £108 a week while being signed of work with addiction problems.

Government officials insist the number of claimants has dropped by 28 per cent since the Coalition came to power.

But MPs are furious that taxpayers are still funding the lifestyles of jobless addicts.

Drug Addict

Tory backbencher Nigel Miles said: “The better way to spend public money is to help people get past their addictions and get them fit to work rather than paying benefits while they stay addicted.”

Whitehall figures yesterday showed there were 46,810 claiming sickness benefit because of alcohol misuse while 28,440 had drug addiction. Alcoholics received nearly £250million and drug addicts were given £185million.

“To help and heal people from this scourge  there is a continuing need for input from professionals, the NHS, outreach workers and GPs. Unfortunately all of these resources have little chance of providing this adequately due to cuts and our austere fiscal climate”

Surgeon used alcoholic’s kidneys

A SURGEON has disclosed how he alone made a decision to use kidneys from a rough-sleeping alcoholic for transplants.

Recipients, father-of-six Darren Hughes, 42, and new grandfather Robert Stuart, 67, were kept in the dark by the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff about the lifestyle of their donor and subsequently died, an inquest heard. Consultant Argiris Asderakis, 51, admitted that he took a calculated risk in using the kidneys of the 39-year-old alcoholic who died from meningitis.

The Cardiff inquest heard the kidneys given to Mr Hughes and Mr Stuart were infected with an extremely rare parasitic worm. Transplant expert Mr Asderakis said, however, that there was no way he could have known.

He added: “I found out after their deaths. Not just me but the whole unit are distraught. Nobody could have predicted it.”

He said transplant operations using “high risk” organs occur every day.

Dixon. C.  Daily Express 20/11/14. p. 2

Booze Worry for Over 60s + Depressing Statistics

Drink deliveries via online shopping are blamed for a growing number of over-60s needing help for alcoholism.

Nearly 10% of women and 8% of men seeking treatment are 60-plus, compared with 6% each five years ago, said Public Health England.

Priory Group consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul Mclaren said he sees “many” retired women who were not previously problem drinkers.

He said bereavement and loneliness can also increase a person’s drive for alcohol and “they don’t even have to leave home to buy it.

Alcohol Concern provide the following depressing statistics.

  • Alcohol is 45% more affordable than it was in 1980
  • Alcohol misuse costs England approximately £21bn per year in healthcare, crime and lost productivity costs
  • Average alcohol consumption has gradually fallen in many OECD countries between 1980 and 2009 with an average overall decrease of 9%. The United Kingdom however, has seen an increase of over 9% in these three decades
  • It is estimated that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 living with dependent drinkers

Alcohol and health

  • Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression
  • In 2010 alcohol use was the third leading risk factor contributing to the global burden of disease after high blood pressure and tobacco smoking
  • In 2011 there were 8748 deaths directly related to alcohol in UK
  • The alcohol-related mortality rate of men in the most disadvantaged socio-economic class is 3.5 times higher than for men in the least disadvantaged class, while for women the figure is 5.7 times
  • There were 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions in England in the year 2011/12, a 135% increase since 2002/03
  • Between 2002 and 2009, 92,220 children and young people aged under-18 were admitted to hospital in England for alcohol-related conditions, on average over 36 children or young people per day
  • Hospital admissions for people under 30 with alcohol-related liver disease has increased in England by 117%. In the North East of England the increase is 400%
  • In England in 2011/12 there were 49,456 hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease
  • Liver disease is the only major cause of mortality and morbidity which is on the increase in England whilst decreasing in other European countries
  • Deaths from liver disease in England have reached record levels, rising by 20% in a decade, with alcoholic liver disease accounting for over a third (37%) of all liver disease deaths
  • The number of older people between the ages of 60 and 74 admitted to hospitals in England with mental and behavioural disorders associated with alcohol use has risen by over 50% more than in the 15-59 age group over the past 10 years (a 94% increase in the 15-59 age group from 27,477 to 53,258 and a 150% increase in the 60-74 age group from 3,247 to 8,120

Treatment

  • There are an estimated 1.6 million people dependent on alcohol in England
  • 108,906 adults were in structured alcohol treatment in England in 2011/12 (64% male, 36%)
  • In 2011-12, 13,299 children and young people under the age of 18 in England accessed specialist services for problems with alcohol
  • Only 6.4% of dependent drinkers access treatment
  • For every £1 invested in specialist alcohol treatment, £5 is saved on health, welfare and crime costs

Crime

  • An estimated 9990 people were casualties of drink-driving accidents in the UK in 2011 including 280 who were killed and 1290 who suffered serious injury
  • Victims believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in around half (47%) of all violent incidents, or 917,000 offences
  • Alcohol-related crime costs £11 billion per year (2010-11 costs, England)

Drinking behaviour

  • 34% of men and 28% of women drank more than recommended (4 units for men, 3 for women) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 52% of men and 53% of women
  • 18% of men and 12% of women drank heavily (at least twice the recommended limits) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 27% of men and 22% of women
  • 9% of men and 6% of women drank very heavily (at least three times the recommended limits) on at least one day in the last week. Excluding those who didn’t drink at all in the last week the figure rises to 14% of men and 12% of women
  • Adults living in households in the highest income quintile are twice as likely to drink heavily as adults in lowest income quintile – 22% compared to 10%
  • Older people tend to drink more frequently than younger. The proportion of adults who drank every day increased with each group – just 1% of 16-24 age group had drunk every day during the previous week, 4% in 25-44, 9% in 45-64 and 13% in 65+
  • Younger people tend to drink more heavily (exceeding 8 units for men and 6 units for women) on a single occasion than older people. 6% of men aged 65 and over had drunk heavily on at least one day in the previous week, compared with 19% of men aged 45 to 64, 24% of men aged 24-44 and 22% of men aged 16 to 24. Among women the corresponding age groups were 2%, 12%, 16% and 18%

Alcoholics – Scientists Find Rogue Gene

Scientists have discovered the process by which heavy drinkers can become alcoholics.

Prolonged boozing can trigger a gene which destroys a protective protein in the brain controlling decision making.

In moderate drinkers, the BDNF protein goes up – which prevents alcohol disorders developing. But levels go down in those with a problem.

Professor Dorit Ron said: “This mechanism may be one possible explanation as to why 10 per cent of the population develop alcohol disorders.” The discovery at the University of California could help in developing suitable medication.

Pensioners put health at risk by drinking indoors

Pensioners are risking their health by binge drinking behind closed doors, experts have warned.

Older people tend to drink at home, but researchers discovered that problem drinking among them was larger than previously recorded.

This “hidden drinking” leads to an increased risk of chronic and killer health problems such as diabetes, cognitive impairment, sleep issues and depression.

Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said: “Our own research shows growing numbers of older people are suffering with mental and physical problems caused by regularly drinking above recommended limits, often in their own homes.
“This will have huge implications for the NHS.”

Previous research relied on pensioners filling out questionnaires – but they tended to under-report how much alcohol they consumed.

The latest US study, published online in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, involved 97 men and 77 women aged over 60 in a low-income old people’s home. Their answers were compared to the number of empty bottles and cans collected from their recycling bins.

Professors James Lange, of San Diego State University, carried out the research. He said: “This study is a reminder that as our body ages the impact on alcohol changes.”

It wasn’t about alcoholism or dependence, he said, but ” maybe instead we’re talking about periodic drinking that can lead to falls, crashes or medicine interactions”.

Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said: “As we age our bodies find it harder to process alcohol.”

Experts say men of all ages shouldn’t have more than three to four units a day (a couple of pints of beer) and women two to three units a day (roughly an average-sized glass of wine).

Also, everyone should have at least two or three “dry” days a week.