Bank holiday is a boozy time for a lot of us. Beyond the Bedpan loves nothing more than a lazy BBQ and a glass of wine. And we’d barely recovered from our bank holiday binge when we stumbled across two alcohol stories that seemed to contradict one another.
First we read a survey from the BBPA which claimed that consumption of alcohol has “plummeted” over the last five years. The clever people who know about these things have analysed the figures and worked out that we’re drinking 13% less than in 2004. With rising prices and stagnant wages it’s hardly surprising that we’re forgoing a trip to the pub. We can barely afford to keep ourselves in fob watches, nevermind knocking back bottle after bottle of merlot.
So why then is it also being reported that alcohol-related hospital admissions are increasing? A survey from North West Public Health Observatory showed a rise in admissions in the last five years. If we’re drinking less, then why were nearly a million people treated for alcohol related harm last year? Could it be that as we can no longer afford to go to swanky wine bars, we’re all sitting at home alone eating pot noodles and drinking White Lightning in our pants?
The survey also revealed that more than a quarter of drinkers exceed healthy limits every week. That’s a lot of people continuing to do something that surely by now they know is bad for their health.
And what can nurses do about it? Should people take responsibility for their own health or should the NHS protect itself from a very costly boozy future?
It’s all a bit much for us. If anyone needs us we’ll be in the kitchen looking for the gin.