The UK govt may be trying to convince us that alcohol is not a drug by ensuring that it is an ‘exempted substance’ within the new Psychoactive Substances Bill, as per Schedule 1 Section 6 on p.34:
but it IS a drug and therefore is included in the annual Global Drug Survey. And the findings for the UK were dire …..
Here are some of the headlines that appeared after it was published:
British boozing isn’t all big nights, banter and beautiful moments you’re unlikely to remember the following morning; new research into global drinking habits has revealed that, for every 100 drinkers in a British pub, at least one will end up seeking emergency treatment after getting pissed.
Of the respondents in Britain who sought help after a drinking session, almost a fifth had drunk more than 20 drinks, and half of them ended up hospitalised. Three percent said they had been drinking for more than four days. The symptoms most often reported by those needing medical help were accidents, trauma, confusion, memory loss, becoming unconscious and feeling depressed and anxious the morning after.
More than one in ten drinkers admitted there were times they could not stop drinking once they had started; that they or one of their friends had got injured during a drinking bout; that they could not remember what happened the night before; and that others had expressed concern about their drinking. Two-thirds of people arrived at a drinking venue after pre-loading at home or at a friend’s house, with over one in ten taking drugs before a night of drinking.
Almost a fifth reported feelings of guilt or regret after drinking, and more than a third of British drinkers indicated they would like to drink less over the next 12 months. Just under one in ten people said they had “not been able to do what was normally expected of them” after drinking. Two percent said they needed a hair of the dog the morning after a heavy session to cope with their hangover.
It found that the most common drinking venue among British drinkers was at a pub or a bar, followed by people’s homes, house parties and clubs. Nearly one in ten said they drank most of their alcohol alone. All in all, the survey shows that bad things happen after drinking more often to British drinkers than the average global drinker.
All of the bolding in the above excerpt is mine. 1 in 10 drink alone, were not able to do what was expected of them, felt guilt or regret, could not stop drinking once they had started and others had expressed concern about their drinking. These are all classic signs of dependence as indicated in the WHO AUDIT questions. To put that into context 1 in 10 people in this country is 5 million people. This is not a small number!!
The Global Drugs Survey is in its eleventh year. Over 102,000 people in 50 countries answered questions about their drinking and drug taking habits. So UK govt you can try and kid yourselves that booze is not a psycho-active drug but we know different as these findings indicate. And Houston we have a problem …….
Edited to add: 20/10/15 more research associated with the GDS this time from the LSE
Heavy drinkers and users of illegal drugs downplay their relative levels of consumption, when comparing themselves to others, reveals research by LSE and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
Published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, the research (1) shows that 68 per cent of respondents to the Global Drugs Survey (GDS) – the world’s biggest drug survey (2) – were drinking at hazardous or harmful levels (3), yet the vast majority (83 per cent) felt they were drinking at low or average levels.