The real cost of unwinding with a drink

A recent article published by the office for National statistics, highlighted that home drinking has had an increasing effect on peoplemiddle class_drinking coming into drug and alcohol agencies and the NHS, looking for rehab.  A startling fact is that this is mostly in middle class, middle-aged people living in the southeast of England.  The article highlights that a new divide between heavy drinkers and very heavy drinkers classifying someone is a very heavy drinker as someone who drinks 12 units of alcohol, at least once in the last week.

Certainly from my own experience, most people don’t know what 12 you units of alcohol actually looks like, bearing in mind the Department of Health estimates that harmful will use of alcohol costs the NHS in Britain around £3.5 billion a year and 8% of all hospital admissions involve alcohol-related conditions.  Furthermore, drinking can lead to over 40 medical conditions, including cancer, hypertension, liver disease and heart disease.  Maybe it could be that bottles are labelled up with the amount of alcoholic units they contain.  Another startling fact that has come to light for my own practice, that people often say they’ve only drunk a glass or two , when certain classes can hold up to half a bottle of wine.

Reducing the harm caused by alcohol has been a priority for the government, since elected.  Excessive consumption of alcohol is a major preventable cause of premature mortality, with alcohol-related deaths accounted for 5.3 of all deaths in England and Wales since records last taken, in the year 2005.  Yet again, my own experience has found a target driven, cost-effective, results based drive towards rehabilitation of people, who found themselves in trouble with alcohol.  It is not uncommon to find that some agencies are only offering six sessions of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) as a way of relapse prevention; statistically it is thought that the therapeutic alliance, fundamentally the trust you put in your therapist, is only established after four sessions.

Although figures of people drinking are on the decline in the general population, there has been an increase in people binge drinking, in the under population 16 to 24.


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