Alcohol Counseling Advice: Alcohol- A weapon Of Mass Destruction
By Fia Augusta
As societies become more advanced, its members attain sophisticated techniques of information processing and analysis. As a consequence, they tend to shun simple and common sense approaches to life. The unfortunate result of this is that they end up forsaking habits.
The negative consequences of alcohol have been known for generations. Common sense approaches like “drink moderately” or “don’t drive while drunk” have been proven to work. However, in a high-tech society, knowledge that is not expressed in a sophisticated algorithm or phone app does not gain traction. Such knowledge gets ignored, sometimes with dire consequences.
According to Alcoholics Anonymous 33,000 people die annually in the UK due to alcohol related incidents. Such incidents include alcohol induced medical conditions, and accidents caused by drunken individuals.
In terms of diseases, alcohol is now considered a causal factor over 60 medical conditions including high blood pressure, liver cirrhosis, depression and liver, stomach, throat and mouth related cancers.
For instance, hospital admissions for people under 30 with alcohol related river disease increased by 117% in England generally, and 400% in the North East of England between 2002 and 2009.
The National Health Service (NHS) estimates that 1.2 million people were admitted with alcohol related diseases into UK hospitals in the year 2011/2012. This was a 25% increase from the 2002/2003 admissions. Of those admissions, 75% were had chronic conditions, 8% had acute conditions and 17% had alcohol related mental and behavioral disorders.
The estimated cost of alcohol misuse to the NHS is £3.5 billion annually, which is equal to £120 for every UK taxpayer. However, what is not determined is the psychological and emotional cost to family and friends who watch their loved ones rot away with conditions that they know could have been avoided.
In terms of accidents, Alcoholics Anonymous attributes alcohol to 15% of road accidents, 26 % of drowning incidents, and 36% of deaths in fires. The Institute for Alcohol Studies documented 250 fatal road accidents that resulted from drunk driving in 2012, leading to 280 deaths. The total number of people involved in the accidents was 9990, and 1,240 of them suffered serious injury.
Unlike for the diseases, over 98% of the people who suffer serious injury or die in alcohol related accidents are people who were not drinking. The same applies to victims of alcohol related crimes (47% of all violent crimes are committed by people who are under the influence of alcohol).
Therefore, alcohol is responsible for wrecking the health of the alcoholics, causing injury or death to both alcoholics and innocent victims, and bringing immeasurable emotional and psychological trauma to all the families involved.
But then alcohol is now 45% more affordable in the UK than it was in 1980. Also, the general rates of drinking in the UK increased by 9% between 1980 and 2009, when in all the other OECD countries the rate dropped by 9%. This clearly shows that in the UK, drinking is not going away any time soon.
However, personal responsibility is still the best way of protecting oneself from the negative consequences of alcohol. The best advice is still to drink moderately. The next is not to drive while drunk. One can contact dvla helpline whenever one comes across an alcohol related road accident for any medical enquiries.