Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Alcohol and harm

Having spent many a night or weekend seeing the carnage that results from the casual and excessive use of alcohol in this country, I have to agree with David Nutt, we really should be putting far more effort into taking on this huge problem.

One can watch his words here on the BBC, I am sure most of you will be infuriated by the pathetic interviewing from the BBC 'journalists', they clearly lack the brains or knowledge to adequately dismantle this topic for their viewers, typically woeful coverage of a scientific issue I'm afraid. I noticed this thanks to Dr Grumble's blog.

The BBC and the media in general are pretty damn rubbish when it comes to covering scientific matters for several reasons. Firstly their journalists lack the understanding of the issues and secondly their bosses want ratings, not decent accurate journalism. One only had to watch their recent Panorama program on the use of antipsychotics in dementia patients to see a complex issue poorly broken down and distorted by some shoddy journalism.

Anyway onto alcohol, it is a national disgrace that the government continues to do effectively sod all to take on the drinks industry. The most effective strategy for improving our dangerous boozing culture is to raise the minimum price of a unit of alcohol, the government continues to resist doing anything in this regard. A&E departments are routinely overrun with drunk patients, the long term health issues associated with alcohol are plentiful. I suspect the drink industry and the big supermarkets' power is part of the reason that the government is doing sod all of use again.

7 comments:

Dr No said...

The media coverage has been dreadful (a quick glance at the 1000+ headlines in google news gives a flavour) but Nutt is not helping this debate. His latest Lancet paper is cod science (modelling etc based on what some pals of his reckoned at a 1 day workshop); it also conflates individual harm and social harm. Dr No suspects that, although they may not understand exactly the wheeze Nutt is using, the punters and the journalists sense that some sort of lies, damned lies (and statistics) trick is being pulled...

...and that does nothing to encourage sensible debate.

Dr Grumble said...

If the journalists can't grasp the issues what hope is there for the general public who rely on them for their information?

And it is these people who are so rude about the bloggers!

Garth Marenghi said...

Indeed!

the fact that these people are so rude about bloggers seems to be because they realise they are in trouble, they are allegedly professionals in an area in which they know next to sod all, then along comes people with more knowledge providing an insight for free

Dr Aust said...

No worries, Ferret - the ConDem Cameroons have an answer on alcohol and binge-drinking. No more meddling BMA and public health types wagging fingers - there is going to be a "social responsibility partnership" on alcohol, chaired by the President of the Wine & Spirits Trades Association. No, really. Those nice people from Diageo are probably going to be there too.

To quote one of the few phrases the mass media use that really rings true, you couldn't make it up.

PS They have a plan for obesity too

Anonymous said...

Your far too lenient here, the answer is simple, those who drink to much and then injure themselves should be left untreated. A few might die but think of the positives, a few deaths should (eventually) make some impact on the stupidity of it all.

First aid supplies said...

Alcohol is not good for health but its true its more harmful for regulars.

Antoine Lockhart said...

It tires me to hear a lot about alcohol addiction. It has brought a lot of problems to the community and yet until now, it remains the same.