Alcohol can be an expensive headache

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by a Newsnet reporter

The average UK citizen knocks back approximately 5,800 pints and 8,700 glasses of wine in the course of a lifetime resulting in 726 hangovers.

A survey of 2,000 people by Benenden Healthcare Society showed we drink three nights a week having an average of nine drinks, working out at 468 a year.

An average person spends £58,201 on alcoholic beverages in a lifetime.  More than half of us sup at home (57%) with less than one in five (17%) going to the pub.

Habits:

The research revealed the average person begins experimenting with alcohol at 14 years of age.

Four out of 10 of us can’t go without a drink for more than a week at a time and 1 in 10 found it difficult to go two days without a drink.

Explanations:

40% of people drink to ‘unwind’ from of the day’s or week’s trials and tribulations while 17% cited  ‘escapism’; both are synonymous with the stress of life in general.

20% said they need a drink in order to have fun on a night out with friends.

Problems:

Injuries due to accidents and violent behaviour in town centres result in A&E departments being filled to the brim more often than hospitals would wish to see.

Liver disease is a risk and a reality for those who overindulge; bearing in mind one person’s ability to metabolise alcohol is not the same as another’s.  The resulting liver disease can prove lethal.

Some individuals are thought to be genetically predisposed to alcoholism and require much less alcohol than the average to become addicted to it – alcoholism is the result.

Alcoholism is a risk for anyone who drinks too much and too often.

Film star Richard Burton – who cut his life short with alcohol – said, “You realise you’re an alcoholic when it’s 9 o’clock in the morning and you’re halfway through your second bottle of vodka”.

Solutions:

The Scottish government were last year prevented from bringing in legislation that would have allowed alcohol to be priced at a level determined by alcoholic content.  With a majority in the Scottish parliament expect the minimum price per alcohol legislation to be voted through in this second SNP term.

Those reading this may have overindulged and regretted the morning after the night before – haven’t we all – but take solace in the fact that you’re not alone.  If today is not one of the days after then allow yourself a wee smile in contemplation of those intoxicated souls having exercised a measure of control less than yourself.