Who’s to blame for the alcohol epidemic?
Is there really an alcohol epidemic?
Last year I was asked to be interviewed by BBC Radio WM in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom. They asked me to talk about the shocking discoveries broadcaster Adrian Chiles had uncovered. This from when he was forced to put his own drinking under the spotlight.
A year later and Adrian is back and he’s not happy. He’s claiming that the alcohol producers are not playing fair.
Tonight BBC Panorama will run a special on how the alcohol industry is not helping when it comes to the growing problem drinking epidemic in the UK.
This is no shock to me!
I have long said that the alcohol companies are acting as badly as the Big Tobacco companies of the ’70s and ’80s.
Adrian says, throughout creating a docudrama called Drinkers Like Me last year, I discovered just how much I was boozing, and what damage I ‘d done myself. I wasn’t anywhere near as healthy as I thought I was, my liver was struggling for sure. More than that, I discovered that my drinking could also be responsible for my high blood pressure and other health concerns.
If I am being honest I would say I really wanted to find somebody else to blame for this mess I had found myself in.
However, it does appear that the booze makers actually aren’t being as honest and transparent as they really need to be. I still appreciate a beer or two and, even though I have reduced the number of drinks I have per week, I most likely still dust off a lot more than the advised safe maximum amount of alcohol use.
I am not here to preach
Folks everywhere must have the opportunity to partake of what they like, but they ought to do this with full facts made available to them. The drinks industry appears hell-bent on holding this important information back from us.
Think about a bar, with its never-ending row of frosted beer and lager taps. On a few, you will see clear labeling of the amount of alcohol in the drink. But why doesn’t it advise you the number of units of alcohol there are in a serving?
Even MacDonalds has to show it’s calorie information these days, so why doesn’t alcohol have to do the same?
It goes without saying, if you pay for a pack of chips to go with the beer, it needs to have complete dietary details plainly and clearly noted on it.
It seems there is effectively a dispensation for beer, wine, and spirits.
The alcohol industry is getting away with murder
If it’s got booze in it, then there’s no requirement to have the health details on there. For that reason, while there need to be transparent facts on sodas and candy. Surely something as damaging to the nation’s health as alcohol must have the same requirements placed upon it?
That just feels plain wrong!
A few years ago the UK chief clinical specialists calculated and published the latest UK drinking standards. Several years later, the substantial bulk of alcoholic goods we checked out, many manufacturers still aren’t choosing to make this at all clear.
Nobody really understands units anyway
Little wonder that less than one in five of us understand how much is too much. It’s on barely any labels whatsoever. In many cases, the outdated guidance, just under 30 units for males and 20 for females, is all you’ll get.
When it comes to the UK safe alcohol consumption advice, for what it’s worth, in contrast to many in the booze business, I choose to go with the verdicts of numerous reports by experts around the world. If that’s your continued regular consumption, you have an increased possibility of getting something horrendous as a result of your drinking.
The more you drink the worse it gets
Frequent pub goers all over jeer disbelievingly at this tiny amount of booze we are being ‘allowed’ to drink by the government. I used to laugh at this myself up until I discovered that greater than 75% of all other users of alcohol do indeed drink at that reasonable and modest amount and more power to them for that!
The truth is, the alcohol industry needs those of us who are problem drinkers to generate most of their profits. Putting it bluntly, the alcohol industry needs us to keep drinking at these crazy amounts. If all problem drinkers were all to reduce their alcohol consumption to safer amounts, those earnings would be whacked for more than ten billion pounds of their revenue!
I asked the president of the Portman-Group, an industry-funded body developed to “cultivate a proportionate awareness of alcohol-induced problems”. If the companies he speaks for would be okay with shedding returns. “Indeed, demonstrably so. My associates, the alcohol manufacturers, do not gain from individuals who abuse alcohol,” he stated.
Whether their stockholders are as chilled out at the possibility of dropping revenues is another question.
The politicians show absolutely no desire to control the arena of alcohol use. The secretary of state for health in the UK declined to appear on our investigation. Matt Hancock MP has stated this year that he’s “flat out against” minimum unit alcohol pricing.
It’s getting worse, not better
Because of that, England will soon be the only area of the nation where somebody with severe alcohol problems will have the ability to get several liters of extra strong beer for no more than a couple of quid.
With alcohol-related fatalities at a two-decade high, liver experts are outraged by the current apathy.
As a distinguished liver specialist, Dr. Sheron says: “I have been in this business for over two decades. I’ve been attempting to prevent men and women dying of liver disease by transforming alcohol regulation, and if I ‘d believed twenty years ago that this is where we were I would have been beyond miserable.
We are simply not making an impact with the alcohol epidemic.
The big producers of alcohol are scoring huge wins because the state invests more time paying attention to the alcohol lobby groups than they do giving time and attention to physicians and even the chief clinical expert.”
Among Big Alcohol’s issues against taxing alcohol more aggressively is that modest everyday consumers would be punished. But even with a minimum price point for alcohol sales being set in place. You can still find a bottle of red or white wine for under five pounds or a bottle of scotch for under fifteen pounds.
If you’re only consuming alcohol sparingly, that’s not going to whack your pocket too hard.
How to stop drinking
I have always said that moderation is hell on earth. Quitting drinking is so much easier than trying to control an addictive drug.
When you reach the point where you are sick and tired of waking up every morning feeling ‘sick and tired’. Perhaps it’s time to take action. Decide now to exit the alcohol epidemic before it’s too late.
Don’t listen to the doom-mongers who claim that stopping drinking is painful and difficult. It really doesn’t need to be hard.
Click here to join our next free quit drinking webinar and find out how my approach to problem drinking has helped over 100,000 people to find their happy sober lives.