Two good pieces from the British press about alcohol issues

New Scientist

As usual at the start of a new year there are many looking to change their lives and make a fresh start, dumping those life style choices, that cause problems or harm and attempt to move on. The press generally reflects this and we often see pieces about stopping drinking or smoking around this time of the year. I thought I would mention a couple of pieces here about alcohol abuse. JonSleeper told me about a great article in the New Scientist which talks about research which is being done at Imperial College London, into a harm reduction solution using Chaperone which helps decrease binge drinking. It compares it in a way, to the use of electronic cigarettes which are less harmful than real tobacco, and have helped many be more healthy. Dr David Nutt who is well-known in the UK says they have about five solutions, for beating drink problems on test. The piece also mentions Naltrexone and the Sinclair method which I have written about, in recent blog posts here.

New Scientist

I think it is vital that new solutions, are brought out, and we don’t simply rely on the faith based solutions of the past. A lot of time and money has been wasted on frivolous research in the USA, trying to prove alcoholism is a disease, supporting the AA 12 step solution, and not looking for alternative methods that can help a large number of people. The more credible articles we see on the subject the better, as this will influence public opinion, to demand different solutions to the things they are offered in most Rehabs at the moment. I am sure insurance companies will take note as well!

Soberistas and Women in the Guardian

Here is a link to a good piece about the changing attitudes to binge drinking in the UK by many women and illustrates how bad the problem has become here, (much worse the USA). http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/04/women-on-the-wagon-club-together-to-cut-back-on-drinking .

It says fortythree percent of women wish to drink less which is a huge number, one in six suffer health problems and a quarter drink more than double, the lower safe limit for alcohol a week. It talks about groups such as http://joinclubsoda.co.uk/   which is a group I was not aware of, and Soberistas which I have mentioned many times here, and is a great group of mainly women, supporting each-other, to live an alcohol free life.

It also mentions Gabrielle Glasser who wrote “Her best kept secret” and here is a quote from the Guardian piece here.

Last year, another book called Her Best Kept Secret became a bestseller in the US. In it, journalist Gabrielle Glaser caused controversy by suggesting that women in particular find a new approach to tackle problem drinking.

“We need to take advantage of 21st-century science. We’ve learnt a lot about how the brain works since the founding of AA in 1935 and we need to acknowledge what nearly every research study has found in recent years. One size could not possibly fit all,” she wrote. “Women who have achieved success with AA or other 12-step approaches should consider themselves lucky and keep attending meetings. But for those for whom it doesn’t work, it’s worth searching for other answers.”

“Women,” she concluded, “are drinking more because they can.”

I am glad that these issues are being talked about in the press, and that people have taken the time to form new groups that can help others beat alcohol problems. Many are put off by old-fashioned, religious solutions such as AA, and although AA will have a place in supporting people in the future, it is important to provide and highlight alternatives, to those who are thinking about stopping drinking.

PS I should make that three articles:

I just noticed there was a piece in the Guardian by Rachel Black whose book I talked about here http://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/sober-black/  The link to the Guardian piece is here http://www.theguardian.com/society/she-said/2015/jan/04/sobriety-giving-up-drink-more-a-journey-than-a-destination and she talks about how life has improved with being alcohol free for over 22 months. She is one of the members of the Soberistas site that I mentioned earlier.

 

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