Daily Archives: 13/05/2014

Alcohol killed 3.3 million in 2012

This was a news piece on Reuters yesterday (source)

More than 3 million people died from using alcohol in 2012, for reasons ranging from cancer to violence, the World Health Organisation said on Monday, as it called on governments to do more to limit the damage.

“More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption,” said Oleg Chestnov, a WHO expert on chronic disease and mental health.

He added there was “no room for complacency”, warning that drinking too much kills more men then women, raises people’s risk of developing more than 200 diseases, and killed 3.3 million people in 2012.

On average, according to the WHO report, every person in the world aged 15 years or older drinks 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per year. But less than half the population – 38.3 percent – drinks, so those who do drink on average 17 liters of pure alcohol a year.

It found that some countries are already strengthening measures to protect people from harmful drinking. Those include increasing taxes on alcohol, limiting its availability by raising age limits and regulating marketing.

More countries should take similar action, WHO said. More also needed to be done to raise awareness of the damage alcohol can do to people’s health and screen for those who may need earlier intervention to cut down or stop.

This is where I start hopping up and down as a public health nurse!  We need to give people the facts about alcohol and we need to screen – as I suggested in my Guardian article (here).  If people don’t know then they can’t change should they wish too.  There has been  extensive research and evidence to support and show that alcohol brief intervention can have a profound impact on someone’s drinking and can be delivered quickly.

Climbing off my soapbox now.  Is it just me that gets so bent out of shape about this?