Alcohol. A life saving disinfectant, a solvent in perfumes, a possible fuel and most of all a very popular drink. However, half of teenagers in this country put themselves at risk by intoxication of alcohol at least once a month according to Professor David Nutt, British psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specialising in the research of drugs. He says: “It is the commonest reason for death in men over the age of fifty.”
Since 1992, alcohol related deaths in the UK in both male and females were increasing. By 2004,the number of deaths had doubled compared to 1992. However, data from 2010 onwards suggest for the first time in two decades, alcohol related deaths are decreasing in both males and females.
“Alcohol numerically is responsible for considerably more harm in the population, certainly health related harm in the population, than other drug.” says Paul Wallace, professor of primary health care at University College London. If this trend continues downwards, it could save many people of liver cirrhosis and death. It could also remove Britain’s reputation as one of the EU countries with higher than average rates of alcohol consumption.
However, this trend shown by the ONS data does not necessarily mean the success of government regulations. “We don’t have any rational policy on drugs in this country” says Prof Nutt and he believes major action needs to be taken to improve the health and life expectancy in the UK.